Niall Matheson

Niall Matheson is a much-admired piper with musical roots in the Highlands. Having been taught to play in his native Newtonmore by John MacDougall and the great pibroch authority Dr Kenneth MacKay, Niall enlisted in the Queen’s Own Highlanders, a regiment with a taste for piping and a willingness to nurture raw talent. These were good years in which he learnt his craft in the company of a number of talented young players, many of whom went on to have successful competitive careers. Niall emerged after 11 years with the regiment as a thoroughly polished performer - a convincing interpreter of the big music of the pibroch tradition, and also a wonderfully fluent player of the lighter music, always willing to throw caution to the wind in pursuit of a good tune.

His competitive successes have included winning the Oban Gold Medal in 1998 and the Inverness Gold Medal in 2001 (considered the highest accolades in competitive piping), as well as numerous awards on the games circuit in the Highlands, where he has concentrated his efforts. Since 1996 he has been schools piping instructor in Easter Ross (covering an area from Tain to Alness), as well as promoting pipe band music through the Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School, which he founded in 2004.