25 January 2013

NFFC Legend Wins Golden Fiddle Awards At Tamworth

News Release 24 January 2013

New Zealander honoured as best solo player

Popular New Zealand fiddler Marian Burns has added to her current winning streak by being

named the best fiddler soloist in Australasia at the ninth annual Golden Fiddle Awards, held at the

Tamworth Town Hall today.

On top of that, a CD album she recorded in France last year, called

Fresh from France, won her a

second Golden Fiddle award for best CD by a fiddler as a soloist. Marian had returned to the

contest after an absence of three years. At her debut appearance at the Golden Fiddle Awards in

2010, she was honoured with the lifetime achievement award for her work in encouraging fiddle

playing in New Zealand.

Marian has travelled widely in the last two years, recording albums in France and playing with New

Zealand tour groups in the USA and Ireland. Her work in France was a result of chance

connections with a leading recording studio, but was initially driven by her lifelong desire to play

her fiddle on top of the Eiffel Tower.

Marian was honoured last year with the Benny Award, the highest honour possible for an

entertainer in New Zealand, in recognition of a lifetime of excellence in her field. Regarded as an

excellent teacher, she has brought fiddle music to thousands of children over the years.

Another top performer this year was the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club as well as several of its

key players, who collectively took out two of the three categories in which they nominated.

Scottish Club founder Judy Turner and her husband Neil Adam won the award for best fiddle


St Athalie’s Waltz. The Club’s fifth and latest CD, Of an Island was the best CD by a

band featuring a fiddler.

The Golden Fiddle Lifetime Achievement Award went to Greg O’Leary, the mentor, teacher and

mainstay of the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club in Victoria. He founded the Newport Bush

Orchestra, now in its ninth year and regarded as an institution for its work keeping alive early

Australian fiddle tunes.

The northern New South Wales band, the Round Mountain Girls (in which there are no girls) won

the category for best band featuring a fiddler for the second year running. The band’s fiddler, Paul

‘Rabbit’ Robinson scored impressively in 2012 by taking home the Golden Fiddle trophies for best

teacher and Lifetime Achievement for his contribution to music.

Classically trained Brisbane duo, Rhiannon and Monique won this year’s Youth Achievement

award. Violinist Rhiannon Fenn and cellist Monique Bartkowiak last year received the annual

Youth Folk Award of the Folk Alliance Australia at the National Folk Festival and since then have

played across the country.

Golden Fiddle chairman and head of the Australian-made Epoch Strings which sponsors the

awards, Mark Mitchell, saved his best praise for the Town Hall audience. He called on Plato to

describe the appreciation of good music – ‘Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind,

flight to the imagination and life to everything.’

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