Top Pipers Announced for Piobaireachd Society ‘Classical Pipe Music’ Annual Concert

The Piobaireachd Society has announced the line up for its annual recital of ceòl mòr entitled ‘Classical Pipe Music – Scotland’s Hidden Treasure’. Those invited to play are Stuart Liddell, Decker Forrest, P/M Ben Duncan and Craig Sutherland.

The concert is to be held at the National Piping Centre’s Otago Street building (formerly the College of Piping) on August 29 at 7 for 7.30pm. There will be a ‘live’ audience and tickets are £10 at the door.

The Society has arranged for a high quality audio recording of the music to be made. There will also be a video of the evening and both recordings will be posted on the members’ area of their website. (Membership of the Society is open to all with an interest in this music. Join here.)



The music to be played is chosen by the pipers themselves and generally includes one full length piece and a one shorter. Four tunes are heard before the interval and four after. There will be a few modern compositions featuring in the programme alongside a raft of classics.

There is no tuning and the pipers enter the hall playing, and walk out as they return to the ground at the end of their tune. An online programme for the evening will be available. The pipers:

Stuart Liddell, double Gold Medallist, is unique in world piping. He is one of the very pipers to have won all the top solo awards and the World Pipe Band Championship in Grade 1. Stuart’s brilliant technique and mastery of piobaireachd interpretation have taken him to the very pinnacle of world piping. His band, Inveraray & District, are the current World Champions.

Stuart Liddell is the current Glenfiddich Champion and winner of every solo piping and pipe band prize

Dr Decker Forrest, originally from San Diego, California, is a piping academic but also an expert performer. He is Programme Leader at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic medium college on the Isle of Skye. A Silver and Dunvegan Medallist, Decker is a student of Iain MacFadyen.

Decker Forrest performing at the Piobaireachd Society Conference. Decker is a noted piping academic and expert performer

P/M Ben Duncan of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards has managed to combine a military career with top level piping. He started playing aged four receiving tuition from Donald McBride and Harry McNulty. At 10 he began long term instruction with Andrew Wright. Ben is a premier player with a track record of solo piping prizes at the very highest level. Ben has performed all over the world and at various State Royal events including at the HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday.

P/M Ben Duncan in RSDG No 1 dress. Ben combines a successful military career with piping at the highest level

Craig Sutherland is from Crieff and is taught piobaireachd by Ronald Clarke. He is currently a member of Simon Fraser University PB in British Columbia. As a junior competitor he won the MacGregor Memorial Competition at the Argyllshire Gathering and then, in three consecutive years, the MSR competition at the Northern Meeting. At 21, he won both the March and Strathspey and Reel in the ‘A’ grade competitions at the Argyllshire Gathering and topped that in 2017 when he won the coveted Gold Medal at the same gathering.  

Craig Sutherland leads the march to the games after winning the Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2017

The Society’s annual concert began in 2018 and for the first two years was held in St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh. Temporary pandemic difficulties led to a switch to the National Piping Centre last year and this


In addition to the above concert, the Society is promoting four ‘Piobaireachd of the Day’ recitals as part of the Piping Live! festival.

The dates, recitalists and their tunes are: Aug 9 – Jack Taylor (Unjust Incarceration), August 10 – Robert Wallace (Big Spree), August 12 – Stuart Samson (Old Men of the Shells) and August 13 – William Geddes (Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay). 

This link https://pipinglive.co.uk/search?q=day gives a direct link to all four performances and people can buy individual tickets, a pass to watch all four of these recitals, or the £65 festival pass. 

All online tickets are also able to be rewatched for seven days after the event. In person tickets are also available for people to come and watch at the National Piping Centre.




1 thought on “Top Pipers Announced for Piobaireachd Society ‘Classical Pipe Music’ Annual Concert

  1. You mention Craig Sutherland; is he the former Pipe Major of the Glasgow & Strathclyde Universities O.T.C. (2014-2016)?

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