Friday, 6 March 2009

RSAMD SIE Winners 2009

Cairn String Quartet have won the RSAMD Scottish Institute of Enterprise New Ventures Competition 2009! We have now been put through to the national competition, which invloves 30 hand-picked teams from all over the country competing for a huge cash prize. As part of this stage of the competition, 2 members of every team had to go to the SIE enterprise Academy, held at the Apex International in Edinburgh. This involved an all expenses paid weekend (it's a hard life!) of workshops, networking and meetings to help us with the next stage of the competition, and with our future plans for the business in general. From e-commerce to wheelie bins, to mountain bike engineering to children's books, there really were buisness's there from all corners of the entrepreneuring world, and it really opened our eyes to the huge potential that our buisness has, and that the sky really is the limit. We stepped out of our musical bubble and looked at our company from a completely new angle, and realised that although we have lots more work to do we are doing very well, and felt immensely proud of ourselves for the work we are doing not only for ourselves but for the Scottish Music Industry in general. There was some great feedback from everyone and we took tips from everyone we could!
We'll keep you posted on our progress, fingers crossed for the next stages!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Sir Billi Soundtrack!

Exciting News! Cairn String Quartet have been invited to join Sean Connery, Alan Cumming and Ruby Wax to produce Scotland's first ever animated film! We've asked our good friends, the Alba Quartet, to join us in recording the soundtrack for the film. First session is this Friday, wish us luck!
We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Attic Lights gig at ABC!

Following their successful debut album (on whish Annemarie and Fiona played), Attic Lights have asked Cairn String Quartet to perfrom with them live at ABC1 on Saturday night! We are all very, very excited and havn't been able to get their catchy tunes out of our heads while we've been practising over the last couple of weeks!
For tickets, please go to

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Hello Katie and Jen!

It is with regret that we announce that Alan John and James Campbell will no longer be playing with the Cairn String Quartet.
However, it is our pleasure to announce that Cairn String Quartet have gone all lady-like and welcome Jenny Robbie and Katie Rush as our new violinists.

Jennifer Robbie - Jennifer is a professional freelance violinist with several years experience of performing and teaching. She has performed with international artists ranging from Kanye West to Runrig and toured with the Scottish Ensemble on the “High Flyers” tour. Jennifer’s interest in music expands to the Scottish tradition and she is a long standing member of one of country’s leading ceilidh bands -SporranAgain. The band has toured Estonia and Sweden to much acclaim.

Jennifer began learning the violin aged 8 in her home town of Dundee. During her school years she enjoyed leading all of the school orchestras and performing as a soloist for Dundee University lunchtime concerts. In 1999 she gained a place at the RSAMD Junior School to study with Rosemary Ellison. Jennifer held the post of co leader of the Junior School Symphony and Chamber orchestras for the 2000-2001 session.

Jennifer went on to study the BMus course at the RSAMD under the tutorage of Simon Fischer and Peter Lissauer. She had a particular interest in chamber music and was a founding member of the Ceoil Quartet. The quartet participated in a number of residential courses including the Royal Northern “Quartetfest”, the Trondheim Quartet festival and the much celebrated Banff (Canada) Chamber Music Course. The quartet enjoyed masterclasses with numerous ensembles including; the Lindsay and Allegri quartets, Divertimento Ensemble, Levon Chilingirian and Rostropovich.

On completion of the BMus course Jennifer continued her study by undertaking the Post graduate performance course graduating in 2008.

Jennifer is an established violin teacher with 7 years experience of teaching a variety of ages and abilities.

Katie Rush - Katie Rush was born in 1984 and grew up near Tain in the Highlands, where she began learning the violin at the age of seven. During her time at secondary school Katie enjoyed playing in a number of ensembles, including a folk group, and was also a member of The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. With these ensembles she was given the opportunity to play abroad in Krakow in Poland, and also toured Montana in the USA.
In 2005 she graduated from the RSAMD having studied violin with Jerre Gibson and Olivier Lemoine, as well as viola with Lev Atlas. During her degree Katie was involved in the busy orchestral programme at the Academy including symphony, chamber and opera orchestras, leading and co-leading sections. She was awarded the John McInulty Prize for Orchestral String Playing in 2004.
As First Violinist with the Ragazzi String Quartet, she was invited to Berwick-upon-Tweed to take part in the Paxton House Summer Music Festival in July 2005, performing Shostakovich’s Eighth String Quartet at the Young Musicians Platform. That same month, the Ragazzi Quartet, and guitarist Allan Neave, were amongst a group of musicians who recorded the soundtrack for a nationwide television advert for Minute Maid Juices.
Katie enjoyed a year out, gaining further teaching experience before returning to the RSAMD in September 2006 to continue her studies with Olivier Lemoine for her Postgraduate Diploma, which she gained with distinction.
At present Katie enjoys teaching children of all ages for local councils and privately, this includes work for the RSAMD Musicworks centres. She combines this with freelancing for a variety of groups and ensembles.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Prestonfield House Wedding

On the 7th September we played at the spectacular Prestonfield House near Edinburgh. This was the first time we had played there, and it was amazing, like nothing you've ever seen before! For Mhairi walking in we played Moon River, and then during the silent prayer, at the signing of the register and for their exit we played a selection of Josh Groban songs that they had had specially arranged. We also accompanied the hymn, In Christ Alone.
The couple have since sent us these kind words -

Dear Annemarie, Fiona and the Cairn Quartet,

Just back from honeymoon and wanted to thank you all for the beautiful music for our
wedding at Prestonfield on Sunday 7 September. You were absolutely breathtaking and
even better than we'd imagined so thank you so much.

From the pieces you played before our ceremony, to the special arrangements during
our ceremony (including our hymn In Christ Alone which sounded wonderful) everything
was perfect.

Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's (which I walked down the aisle to) and You
Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (which was played during silent prayer) especially were
both huge hits with our family and friends and there wasn't a dry eye in the house
at those points.

We have had so many compliments on the music we just had to let you know how happy
we were with it and also to let you know that it was an absolute pleasure to work
with you. Your customer service and whole approach was fantastic - so friendly and
helpful - nothing was too much trouble and your calming and laid back manner
was much appreciated!

We wouldn't hesitate to use you again or recommend you to friends and family (in
fact I recommended you to a colleague Melissa Ferrie a number of weeks ago who
has since booked you for her wedding at the Botanics in Glasgow this autumn).

Our photographs should be ready any day now so I'll forward the link to our web
gallery as soon as they are ready so you can see yourselves on camera and perhaps
use a photograph on your blog.

Take care, speak to soon.

With love from Mairi & Paul Gordon xxx

Dunblane Hydro Wedding

On the 6th September we played at Dunblane Hydro. For Amanda walking in we played Pachelbel's Canon, and at the signing of the register the couple had asked for a special song to be arranged, The Vervepipe's 'Colourful'. The couple then walked out to the traditional wedding march.
We have since received this lovely email from the couple!

Hi Annemarie & Fiona

The new Mrs Dean here! I just wanted to email you to say a huge thank you for being
part of our big day on 6th September 2008 at the Dunblane Hydro. I'm afraid my head
was elsewhere on the day and I can't truly admit to hearing you playing (except when
we were signing the register) but everyone else has informed me that you were
excellent and really added to the ambience of the day.

Thank you so much for all your help with the composition of Colorful, again I missed
most of this but a few of our friends said it was wonderful. I am really excited to
see the video as then I will really get a chance to appreciate the music. Also,
having played the cello myself for 10 years, I think there is something very
beautiful about the sight of a string ensemble playing whether it be a quartet or a
full orchestra!

Once again, thanks for everything you did. I won't forget you.

Kind regards

Amanda & Andrew

Glasgow University Chapel Wedding

On the 23rd August we played at the lovely Glasgow University Chapel. It is one of my favourite places to play as it is where my parents were married! For Joanne walking in we played Pachelbel's Canon, at the signing of the register we played Braveheart, and then the couple were piped out by a friend. The hymns were accompanied by the organ. We then moved outside to the cloisters to play for their drinks reception.