Media release: 15th year of Scottish-Nordic festival next month

Peter Puma Hedlund performing at Northern Streams 2018

NORTHERN Streams – an unique festival of Nordic and Scottish music, song and dance – celebrates its 15th anniversary next month, with a focus on Swedish culture.

Taking place 20-22 April, it combines concerts, workshops and sessions, right in the heart of Edinburgh.

Guests taking part in this year’s Northern Streams festival are:

  • Peter Puma Hedlund – master nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle) player from Sweden
  • Paul Anderson – master fiddler and Shona Donaldson – fiddler and singer from North East Scotland
  • Fika Collective – Lachlan Munro, Libby McGugan, Malcolm Bushby and Callum Forsyth – Glasgow based band playing Nordic and Scottish music
  • V-Dala Spelsmanslag – acknowledged as Sweden’s longest-running student folk ensemble
  • The Grassmarket Centre’s ‘Music for All’ Group

Organiser, Fiona Campbell, said: “We had been uncertain if we were going to have the capacity to run the festival this year but we got the opportunity to invite Peter Puma Hedlund to work with Paul and Shona. V-Dala Spelmanslag were planning to visit Scotland, and I was able to talk to up-and-coming group, Fika Collective, about taking part, it seemed like we had to make it happen, to bring these talented artists together in front of audiences in Scotland.

“Also, we’ll be celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People with our Friday concert, celebrating collaborations between top musicians with our Saturday concert, along with lots of opportunities for participation and learning through workshops and sessions.“

The festival opens with an evening concert on Friday, then a concert and ceilidh on Saturday – to give you the opportunity to try Swedish dances alongside the Scottish ones you are likely to know already. All dances will be called or demonstrated.

There are workshops during the day on Saturday covering songs from Scotland and Sweden, accompanying Scandinavian tunes, Swedish and Scottish tunes and dance so you can practise for the evening ceilidh. The festival finishes with an open session on Sunday afternoon, with members of the Grassmarket Centre Music Groups giving a wee taste of their repertoire – all welcome.

All events take place at the Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA though check out the festival website for details of a concert with Peter, Paul and Shona on Friday 27 April in Aberdeenshire.

To book and for more details of the Northern Streams programme visit or email: or tel: 0795 191 8366, or Facebook – TMSAEdinburgh&Lothians and Twitter @northernstream1.

Ticket prices range from £6 for a workshop – £35 for an all-in-one weekend ticket. Concessions include TMSA members & Young Scot cardholders. Bookings can be made online through before the festival as tickets are only available at the venue during the event.

Northern Streams is organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh & Lothians Branch. Details about the Branch at: and TMSA –

Notes to editors and listing details:

  • Publicity photos of all the performers are available electronically. Please tel: 07951 918366 (Fiona) or email: for them or any other queries.
  • Described as “…something out of the ordinary” by The Herald, throughout the years Northern Streams has showcased performers often new to Scottish audiences, offering opportunities to learn about different cultures around the North Sea through a mix of concerts and workshops.
  • The Grassmarket Centre Music Group are part of the The Grassmarket Centre, which is the home of the Grassmarket Community Project — a social enterprise helping many people in the city gain new skills and confidence, with profits used to create new opportunities and activities. A café/bar is available at the venue plus plenty of other options available locally.
  • The Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) was formed in 1966 as an organisation to promote, present and preserve the traditional music and song of Scotland. Its first events were annual festivals based in Blairgowrie, bringing together many of the finest exponents of the traditions as well asnew faces. Current projects include the annual TMSA Event Calendar and TMSA Young Trad Tour of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year finalists. For its 50th anniversary, the TMSA worked with Collins to get Norman Buchan’s iconic ‘101 Scottish Songs’ (Wee Red Book) reprinted after 40 years of being out of print as well as being celebrated at the Opening Concert of Celtic Connections 2016. The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 & a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: The Signal Box, Edinburgh EH14 1JL. Website:

Outline programme

Friday 20 April: Evening concert @ 7.30-10pm Tickets: £12/10

Fika Collective (Scotland/Sweden)

Blending Nordic and Scottish music, The Fika Collective is a newly-formed Glasgow-based group of fiddlers – Lachlan Munro (hardanger fiddle); Libby McGugan (fiddle); Malcolm Bushby (fiddler, bouzouki player and singer) with guitarist, Callum Forsyth (who has a Swedish grandmother!)

V-Dala Spelmanslag (Sweden)

Founded in 1961 V-Dala Spelmanslag is the longest running student folk ensemble in Sweden and they are famous for their award-winning joyful and energetic playing style.

The cafe/bar is open for food before the evening concert.

Sat 21 April: Northern Streams Workshops Tickets: £8/6 per workshop.

Choose 1 of the 2 options per time slot

(Children aged nine+ are able to attend workshops, as long as they are at the level specified and accompanied by an adult):

Sat 21 April: Northern Streams Workshops Tickets: £8/6 per workshop.

Choose 1 of the 2 options per time slot

(Children aged nine+ are able to attend workshops, as long as they are at the level specified and accompanied by an adult):


  1. North East Scottish Songs (Shona Donaldson): For all, including beginners OR 
  2. Swedish Tunes (Peter Puma Hedlund): For all melody instruments – Intermediate level upwards.


  1. Swedish Songs (V-Dala Spelmanslag): No prior knowledge of Swedish required. For all including beginners OR
  2. Scottish Tunes (Paul Anderson): For all melody instruments – Intermediate level upwards.


  1. Swedish Dances (V-Dala Spelmanslag): Learn the dances we’ll be dancing in the evening. For all including beginners OR
  2. Scandinavian Tunes & accompaniment (Fika Collective): Learn how Scandinavian musicians accompany their tunes using melody lines. For all melody and chord playing instruments – Intermediate level upwards.


Sharing Session with all invited guest performers and participants to get a chance to share what they have learnt from the workshops and performances. (Free with any workshop or concert ticket).

The cafe/bar will stay open for food before the evening concert.

Sat 21 April: Evening concert and ceilidh @ 7.30-11pm Tickets: £12/10

Peter Puma Hedlund, Paul Anderson and Shona Donaldson

A Trio made up of a ‘Riksspelman – Fiddler of the Realm’ nyckelharpa player from Sweden, one of Scotland’s top fiddlers and winner of the Scots Singer of the Year and fine fiddler – can only mean an amazing exchange of cultural delights.;

The Northern Streams Ceilidh Band (Scotland/Sweden)

Created from our Festival guest musicians, the Northern Streams Ceilidh Band, will be giving you the opportunity to try out Scottish and Swedish dances – which will be called/demonstrated – during the extended second half of our concert or you can just sit and listen to the Nordic and Scottish sounds!

Sun 22 April: afternoon session @ 2.00-4.00pm Free and open to all to take part or come along and listen at the Grassmarket Centre cafewhich will be open. We will be welcoming members of the Grassmarket Music Group to give us a wee taste of their repertoire!

Provisional Tarland, Aberdeenshire Concert on Friday 27 April – with Peter Puma Hedlund, Paul Anderson and Shona Donaldson – details to be confirmed.

Information about the artists – short biographies

Peter Puma Hedlund is considered Sweden’s leading traditional player of the modern chromatic nyckelharpa, having won the title World Champion twice, in 1992 and 2000. He earned the designation, ‘Riksspelman’ – Fiddler of the Realm – while still in his teens (1975) through receiving the Zorn Silver Medal. In 2010 he received the Zorn Gold Medal – recognised as the highest honour Sweden can bestow on an artist – awarded by Svenska Folkdansringen, the Swedish national organisation for traditional music, dance and handicraft.

Peter is proud of the strong musical tradition and heritage that nurtured him as he grew up in Uppland, learning directly from the old masters – especially Peter’s primary inspiration and teacher – the legendary Eric Sahlström. He is a greatly sought after teacher on a global scale and has influenced all of the younger generation of nyckelharpa players. He was chosen as the Patron of The World Fiddle Day 2017 and lives with his wife Karin and their two sons, Jonas and Mathias, in Iste, Hälsingland (about a four-hour drive north of Stockholm).

Shona Donaldson is originally from Huntly but now living near Tarland in Aberdeenshire with husband, Paul Anderson. She is one of Scotland’s leading traditional singers. In 2009 she was voted ‘Scots Singer of the Year’  at the BBC Alba Trad Music Awards and in 2016 she became the first woman ever to win the coveted ‘Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions’. She was also a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and took part in the TMSA Young Trad Tour of winners and finalists from the competition in 2004.

Shona has sung on a number of recordings including an album of the works of Robert Burns in Scots and Gaelic and her solo album, ‘Short Nichts and Lang Kisses’. She performs regularly at home and abroad and guests and has been a guest at festivals like Celtic Connections, Keith Folk Festival (TMSA), Orkney Folk Festival, Cullerlie Traditional Singing Weekend, Willie Clancy Week (County Clare, Ireland) and the Rudolstadt International Folk Festival.

Paul Anderson  is one of the finest Scots fiddlers of his generation. During his competitive career, Paul won most of the traditional fiddle championships in Scotland and in 1995 won Scotland’s premier fiddling event, the Glenfiddich Scottish fiddle championship, which was until recently, held each year at Blair Castle.

Paul was brought up on the family dairy farm at Tarland near the Cairngorm National Park in the heart of rural Aberdeenshire, where at the age of five he discovered an old fiddle under his grandparent’s spare bed, an old French violin which he plays to this day. He began initially with classical tuition but before long joined the acclaimed Scots fiddle group, The Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society. He went on to study for several years with Douglas Lawrence of Buckie, who was the most acclaimed pupil of Hector MacAndrew, a player who could trace his fiddling lineage directly back to Niel Gow and the Golden Age of Scottish Fiddle music. Gow is regarded as the father of Scottish fiddle music and was a legend in his own lifetime. Hector’s grandfather was taught by James Mackintosh of Dunkeld who was the last pupil of Niel Gow. Therefore Paul is part of a teaching lineage which stretches right back to before 1745 and the time of Gow. Consequently, Paul is a highly-regarded tutor and as well as solo tuition has led workshops and master classes from Aberdeen to Australia and from Banff to British Columbia.

Paul has toured extensively and recorded eight solo albums and over forty albums with artists like Pallas, Rock Salt and Nails, The Cutting Edge and the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society. Paul regularly recites the poetry of Robert Burns and in 1993 he played the part of the young James Scott Skinner in the play ‘The Strathspey King’. In 2008, Paul performed at a private reception for Prince Charles at Fyvie Castle to celebrate Prince Charles’ 60th birthday and in June 2010 he performed at an 80th birthday party in Edinburgh Castle for Sir Sean Connery at the request of the Scottish Government.

A regular on Scottish TV and radio, in 2011 he presented a series of features on traditional Scottish music and song for the BBC Scotland programme, ‘Landward’.

He recently was seen in the film remake of Whisky Galore – wielding his fiddle at a ceilidh!

He also is a composer of some repute, having composed over 300 pieces in the Scots style and published some in the Lochnagar Collection as well as has collated other collections of previously unpublished and out of print fiddle repertoire from the north-east of Scotland, with partners such as the Highland Music Trust, Taigh-na-Teud,  the Elphinstone Institute and Greentrax recordings.

He has also written articles and given talks and lectures on the subject.

V-Dala Spelmanslag is a Swedish folk music ensemble, founded in 1961 and the longest running student folk ensemble in Sweden and they are famous for their joyful and energetic playing style. They have also won the World Championships for Student Folk Groups three times.

A ‘Spelmanslag’ is a Scandinavian term for a large group of people playing folk music together and any instrument is welcome in the group. Almost all learning of music is by ear, without sheet music and the musical ability ranges from beginner to very skilled folk musicians without compromising on the quality of sound and fun! There is no audition to join and they meet weekly on Thursdays during termtime at Uppsala University.

The traditional music they play is mainly Swedish, particularly as people often dance at their concerts and the Swedish dancers naturally know the Swedish dances best! Their repertoire does also cover neighbouring countries such as Norway and Finland as well as further afield (such as Scotland). They enjoy social activities, sessions, dance evenings and travelling to festivals in Sweden and abroad – including Northern Streams this April. They are looking forward to coming to Scotland to play tunes and teach traditional dances from Sweden!

Fika Collective is a newly-formed Glasgow-based group of fiddlers. They share a love of Nordic folk music and other unusual world tunes, choosing their music around the story and distinct visual imagery which the tunes suggest to us. They have recently performed at a number of venues around Scotland including Celtic Connections and the Scots Fiddle Festival. This will be the first time Fika Collective has headlined at a festival.

Lachlan Green is originally from Canberra, Australia where he first developed his love of Scottish and Scandinavian folk music. He has performed in Australia, Scandinavia and the UK, most notably a Hardanger fiddle solo with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. He runs a weekly Nordic tunes session in Glasgow on Friday afternoons which currently appears to be the only weekly Scandinavian session in Scotland.

Libby McGugan is from Glasgow and has been playing traditional music for 15 years. She has studied music at UHI and at camps in Scotland and the US. She is a hard-core Glasgow trad session addict and co-runs a Nordic session with Lachlan.

Newcastle-based fiddler, bouzouki player and singer Malcolm Bushby is from Tasmania, Australia, with family roots in Scotland. He has studied Scottish fiddle with Anna-Wendy Stevenson at UHI in Benbecula. He has played and recorded with many notable trad musicians including Tom McConville, Aidan O’Rourke, Tony McManus and Catriona MacDonald. He released his first solo album in 2012.

Covering Sally Simpson’s place for this Festival is Callum Forsyth. From the north east of Scotland, Callum is a renowned guitarist with family links to Sweden’s west coast through his grandmother. As a soloist, band leader and deputy, he has performed across Europe and as far as Australia including performances at the Royal Albert Hall and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on guitar and bagpipes. Now an accomplished recording engineer and acoustician, Callum is “the guitarist with the best innate polska rhythm”, according to Lachlan.

For those unfamiliar with the word, ‘Fika’ is considered a social institution in Sweden; it means having a break, most often a coffee break, with one’s colleagues, friends, date or family. Apparently, the group came together through visiting each other’s homes for coffee, food and tunes hence the choice of name. We would like to think that Fika Collective’s performance at Northern Streams will be similarly refreshing and fun!

MEDIA RELEASE issued by TMSA. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

Check out too, and

Stay connected with our various twitter feeds: CharitiesDrinkEducationEnergyFashionFilmFoodGardensLegalMotorsMusicOutdoorsPropertyScience and Sports. And not forgetting FinanceTheatreTravelFestivalsVisual ArtsAberdeenDundeeEdinburghGlasgowInvernessPerth and Stirling.

TMSA contact details…

Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366