Fraser and Haas present ‘Highlander’s Farewell,’ a livestreamed concert
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas

Fraser and Haas present ‘Highlander’s Farewell,’ a livestreamed concert

PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project announces a livestreamed concert - “Highlander's Farewell,” by fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas - on Friday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m.

The retrospective concert is dedicated to revisiting and updating parts of the duo's 20 years of recording and performing cutting-edge fiddle/cello explorations of Scottish, Celtic, and global music.

“With a shared passion for improvising on the melody and the groove of traditional tunes, Fraser and Haas feature dazzling teamwork, swapping melodic and harmonic lines and trading driving rhythmic riffs,” the duo's publicity materials say.

Following the concert, Fraser and Haas will host a Zoom discussion with the audience.

The musical partnership between Fraser and Haas is the fulfillment of Fraser's longstanding musical dream to return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music. In the last 100 years, piano and accordion have largely replaced the cello's melodic tones and percussive energy as fiddle accompaniment in traditional music.

Their 2004 debut recording, Fire & Grace, won not only critical acclaim but also the coveted the Scots Trad Music “Album of the Year” award, the Scottish equivalent of a Grammy. The duo has represented Scotland at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and has been featured on public radio programs Performance Today, The Thistle & Shamrock, and Mountain Stage.

Long regarded as Scotland's premier fiddle ambassador, Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks.

Fraser has been sponsored by the British Council to represent Scotland's music internationally, has received the Scottish Heritage Center Service Award for outstanding contributions to Scottish culture and traditions, and is a member of the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

Through two summer programs that he founded two decades ago, the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in California and a week-long course on the Isle of Skye, Fraser has inspired hundreds of aspiring and accomplished musicians.

Haas, a California-based cellist, first attended the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School at age 11 and, responding to Fraser's challenge to find and release the cello's rhythmic soul, she played her first concert with him four years later.

A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, she has performed and recorded with a who's who of the fiddle world, including Mark O'Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Irish supergroups Solas and Altan, Liz Carroll, Dirk Powell, Darol Anger, and many more.

Touring with Fraser and creating a buzz at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe and North America, Haas' publicity describes her as “in the vanguard of young cellists who are redefining the role of the cello in traditional music.”

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