Catriona Price is one of the most versatile Scottish musicians on the international stage. A prolific grass-roots folk fiddler, classical violinist, composer, vocalist and project leader, Catriona studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music having spent her childhood in Orkney sessions and fiddle groups. Catriona is equally at home in a folk or improvisation session as in an orchestra or chamber group and is passionate about breaking down genre barriers and collaborating across art forms and cultures in all of her work.

Catriona’s debut solo album ‘Hert’ (originally a commission from Celtic Connections in 2020) came out to critical acclaim in 2023 with a premier at Celtic Connections and a sold out concert at Edinburgh International Festival 2023. She was recently awarded Made In Scotland funding to stage multiple performances of Hert for International delegates at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024. In 2024 she was awarded an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for services to the industry.

Catriona is half of the internationally acclaimed contemporary folk duo Twelfth Day. The duo’s unique music has taken them all over the world with performance highlights including WOMAD Chile, Canada’s Hillside Festival, Bath International Festival, and regular touring activity across the UK and Europe. Twelfth Day have received wide-spread critical acclaim including a live session on BBC Radio 4's flagship programme Woman's Hour. Their latest album Face to Face was mixed by Oz Fritz (Tom Waits) and nominated in the Scottish Awards for New Music 2020 in the ‘Innovation in New Traditional Music’ category. They are recipients of the Hands up for Trad ‘Ignition Award’. In 2020 they diversified their activity with a successful podcast ‘Figuring Out How to Be at Home’.

Catriona is Artistic Director of Routes to Roots - a new organisation creating intercultural music collaborations to connect communities. Having initially developed the idea through a Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Entrepreneurs in 2012, which enabled research and development trips to Quebec, Malawi, Brazil, and Mongolia with Twelfth Day, Catriona founded the organisation with cultural manager Christine Lauck during a Creative Scotland funded development journey through Mexico and Chile in 2023/2024. The five wide-ranging and diverse new tracks created during this trip in collaboration with Coyo Licatzin, Pahua, El Guapo, La Plaza del Puma and Daniela Millaleo, are due for release in spring 2024.

In 2014 Catriona collaborated with three childhood friends from Orkney to form Fara. Fara celebrates the traditional Orcadian music the band cut their teeth on, whilst creating new melodies to add to the canon within intricate string arrangements by Catriona. Fara have toured around the world, bringing Orkney music to audiences in Australia, China, USA, Canada and across Europe. They have won the German Critics Choice Award twice and in 2017 appeared live at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, where they were nominated. Catriona was a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Catriona is co-founder, co-artistic director and member of the string ensemble Thirteen North. In 2023 they curated and performed their debut show ‘Connected’, commissioning new pieces from three folk-influenced Scottish composers alongside accompanying short films. Catriona has performed at the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival. She freelances with groups including Grit Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Kaleidoscope Orchestra.

As a composer, Catriona’s 2020 string quartet piece ‘May Alone’ won Scottish Natural Heritage and Feis Rois’ ‘In Tune With Nature’ competition, and in 2023 her piece ‘Saint Sophia’ was featured in Thirteen North’s ‘Connected’ show. She writes string and vocal arrangements for Fara, and in 2023 completed the score for ‘Embracing the Grim’ - a documentary film produced by The North Face. Catriona began writing music at the age of eleven. Several melodies have been included in tune books and have been recorded by players around the world. She has written string quartet pieces for Mr McFall's Chamber and with BBC Radio 3 Late Junction's Max Reinhardt co-wrote the soundtrack for an immersive theatre piece for 2-5 year olds.



Musical influences

I was born in Orkney into a musical household. My parents were big classical music fans, but I also grew up in a community with a rich traditional fiddle music tradition. At the same time I had BBC Radio 1 on in my bedroom. These three simultaneous streams of musical influence raised me with a genre-less approach to my own music making from the outset. I was lucky that my first teacher (Douglas Montgomery - Saltfishforty, The Chair) was hugely open-minded as far as genre was concerned as well. In my earliest lessons we would be practicing a scale one minute, and by the end of the lesson 7-year-old me would be playing a fiddle tune while he accompanied me on the school drum kit. He made playing the fiddle feel cool, which is obviously the priority for any kid! The social aspect of the violin cemented it as the instrument for me. When I moved up to secondary school I became a member of Douglas’ school fiddle group Hadhirgaan, and at the age of 12 announced to my parents that I wanted to be a professional musician. At the same time I was hearing a lot of classical music at home - particularly choral music.

I auditioned for St Mary’s Music School at 16 and left Orkney to complete the final two years of my secondary education. There, I heard so much amazing music, particularly immersing myself in the string quartet repertoire and getting my violinistic chops up ready to audition for music college. At the same time I started discovering alternative pop and indie music, sharing music with my friends after we’d completed our practice for the day going to gigs in Edinburgh after school. Some of these artist included Imogen Heap, Passion Pit, Laura Viers, Jagga Jazzist, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, Sigor Ros. All of these artists excited me in their open approach to music making. I was inspired by the way they threw the rulebook out of the window. At St Mary’s I met my long-time musical collaborator Esther Swift. We both went on to the RNCM and whilst sharing a flat discovered our shared passion for writing new music drawing on the folk music we’d grown up around in Scotland, alongside contemporary classical sensibilities, and approaches from alternative/indie music. Our duo Twelfth Day developed gradually throughout college and we’ve been collaborating and challenging each other through musical conversations and explorations ever since.

Some artists I’ve been influenced by along the way, both by their musicality and their attitude to art and life, are Björk, Rhiannon Giddens, Oumou Sangaré, Natalia Lafourcade, Anna Meredith, Chris Thile, Lau, Snarky Puppy, Becca Stevens, Malika Tirolien, The Gloaming, yMusic, Brooklyn Rider… The list goes on! But essentially I am inspired by artists who have set their egos aside and are pushing themselves to explore new ways to make sense of the world through music. Those who take inspiration from human stories and are determined to improve the world through music. In my career now, I still have one foot planted in my roots - I am a founding member of Orkney folk band Fara, and am co-artistic director of the string ensemble Thirteen North. However within these traditional-sounding projects are always explorative aspects - I write the string arrangements for Fara, bringing chamber music aspects, through interweaving string parts and dynamic harmony, into the context of the folk music we grew up with; and Thirteen North’s priority is, through innovation and collaboration, to bring classical music out of the traditional concert hall setting and into environments that feel more approachable for those who have no prior knowledge of classical music. In my own composition work and in the music I create with Twelfth Day, the doors are wide open — I try to write whatever my subconscious feels, to dig deep to try and find whatever it is that the music needs. And all the while keeping my ears open and learning from the musicians I admire, the stories I’m inspired by, and the world around me.

Most recently, as Artistic Director, I have been developing Routes to Roots - an organisation focused on creating intercultural collaborations to connect communities. My recent development period in Mexico and Chile led to new musical encounters that expanded my artistry just as they strengthened my belief that music has the power to connect the world in indescribable ways. The five diverse collaborations we created during this time will be released during spring 2024.