Link to scotsmusic Traditional page

Link to top o' the scots. Scotlands favourite musicians

Link to scotsmusic contemporary page

Link to scotsmusic Howff page

To the music of the pipes.

To links page

scotsmusic home page

Scotland's Classical Music

John Wallace Scottish composer of classical music


Scotland's classical music tradition originated at least in the 6th century when Celtic monks on Iona and elsewhere composed, sang and chanted religious psalms and liturgy's. It continued to evolve through generations of churchmen like Robert Carver until the period of Reformation in the 16th century when Scotland's music and ecclesiastical culture underwent a dramatic transformation as it was superceded by the traditional music of Folk and Bagpipe. Classical music appears to have gone underground until the early 18th century and the emergence of James Oswald. By the end of the century when all eyes looked to Scotland's creative geniuses as enlightened leaders of taste and thought Classical music found a new confidence emanating from the drawing rooms of the middle classes and in a desire to be seen as cultured Scotland's nobility and growing middle classes listened and learned to replicate the music of European masters. By the end of the 19th century classical music was being appreciated by all classes of society and for over a century social status no longer became a barrier to appreciating classical forms.

In the 21st century classical music draws its talented players and composers from schools, work places and homes in Scottish towns, villages and cities. Its music is widely heard in concert halls around the world as well as in cinemas as soundtracks to block buster Hollywood films. Opposite is a list of some of Scotland's influential Classical musicians held in high esteem both by Scots and the world.

If you would like to comment, contribute, sponsor or advertise on this page please in the first instance contact us via the following address



Essential Musicians

  • Craig Armstrong
  • Richard Armstrong
  • Banquet Of Musick
  • Nicola Benadeti
  • Caledon
  • Robert Carver
  • Lucy Cowan
  • Alexander Compton MacKenzie
  • Patrick Doyle
  • Mary Garden
  • Sir Alexander Gibson
  • Evelyn Glennie
  • Bill McCue
  • Hamish MacCunn
  • Jamie MacDougal
  • Cameron MacIntosh
  • James MacMillan
  • Eddie Maguire
  • Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Orpheus Choir
  • James Oswald
  • John Purser
  • Sir Hugh Roberton
  • RSNO
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Scottish Opera
  • BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • John Wallace
  • Robert Wilson