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Arthur Scott Robertson (1911-2000)

Arthur Scott Robertson was a contemporary of Tom Anderson, whose accomplished career in fiddling followed a very different path.

Arthur Scott RobertsonArthur Scott Robertson

He was born in Bressay and brought up in Nesting, where he was inspired to play the fiddle by his neighbour 'Old' Willie Hunter.

Later in Lerwick, he took violin lessons from Gideon Stove, and began to concentrate his playing away from the Shetland tradition, towards the North-east Scottish style and the light classics of Fritz Kreisler. Pre-war he studied the Scottish style with John Murdoch Henderson and post-war with Hector McAndrew. I

in 1969 he was judged ahead of 115 other competitors to become winner of the first - and only - Scottish Fiddle Championship competition of 1969.

He was a prolific composer of over 300 tunes, most of them published in five volumes of his own, and other collections. The best known are probably the air Helen N. Robertson and the reel Laxoburn.

Through the 1970s and 80s he taught many pupils, very much in the Scottish idiom, in contrast to the more universal traditional Shetland style, for which he had little regard in later life.

In the stressful atmosphere of local fiddle competitions for pupils, the effect of Arthur Scott Robertson and Tom Anderson in the same room backstage was said to be "unforgettable".

 
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