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Ryan Young - Biography

Ryan Young brings new and exciting ideas to traditional Scottish music, receiving international praise for his spell-binding interpretations on the fiddle. His debut album was recorded with four time GRAMMY winner Jesse Lewis (who has worked with the likes of Bela Fleck and Yo Yo Ma) and launched at Feakle Traditional Music Festival in County Clare, accompanied by renowned guitarist, Dennis Cahill (Martin Hayes; The Gloaming).

Focussing on traditional Scottish music, Ryan brings new life to very old, often forgotten tunes by playing them in his own unique way. His fiddle playing is brimming with fresh melodic ideas, an uplifting rhythmic drive and a great depth of dynamics and precision. His sound is very distinctive and takes the listener on an emotional and adventurous journey in any performance.

Ryan holds both a first class honours and a Masters degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, was twice a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards, and twice a finalist in the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of The Year. He was awarded ‘Up And Coming Artist Of The Year’ at the Scots Trad Awards in 2017, nominated for the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2018 and awarded's Musician Of The Year title, also in 2018.

Further MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards nominations include Album Of the Year, and Folk Band Of The Year. ‘Ryan Young with Jenn Butterworth’ was also the only UK artist selected to perform at the prestigious World Music conference, WOMEX, in 2019.

Fiddlers Ryan Young and Martin Hayes
Two amazing fiddlers - one Irish, one Scottish; Martin Hayes with Ryan Young.

In late 2016 he recorded his debut solo album, of his own and traditional Scottish tunes, with triple Grammy award winning producer Jesse Lewis. The album was released on August the 11th 2017 and Ryan launched the CD, accompanied by Dennis Cahill, at Feakle Festival, County Clare, Ireland. The album, received many excelent reviews, and was subsequently entered into the Grammy's and made the shortlist for 'Best Album' in MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2017. In 2018 Ryan was a nominee for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Ryan Young was also voted Best Musician 2018 on the folk website other nominees for the award included Richard Thompson and Seth Lakeman (who were playing before Ryan was born!).

Ryan has played in Ireland with both Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.


“…a force of nature” ***** (5 STARS) The Scotsman

“He has created his own unique way of playing and is finding great emotional depth in his native Scottish Music. Ryan Young is an up and coming musician who is gaining more and more well deserved recognition. I feel that he has the potential to make a very significant contribution to the Scottish tradition.” - Martin Hayes

‘…Young’s playing is so richly expressive, channelling such deep emotion, that it feels like a dramatic performance in a theatre…one feels that here we have a potential heir to Duncan Chisholm for sheer emotional intensity. It’s a remarkably mature debut album from one so young.’ – Paul Matheson, Folk Roots 2017

‘…the man makes the fiddle articulate the widest range of emotions and illustrations – and listening to him play you realise he is surely in possession of a magnificent gift’ – FolkWords July 2017

‘….leading the ‘New Wave’ of traditional Scottish fiddlers, virtuoso Ryan Young’ – BBC World on 3 (August 2017)

‘Nuance, wit, risk-taking, contrast and above all a real sense of joy in making music were all there in abundance and Young’s solo feature, where he appeared to have been truly possessed by the melodies, was as exciting as it was uplifting’ – Rob Adams, The Herald

‘Uniquely graceful and expressive playing. A future star of the Scottish fiddle world’ – Aidan O’Rourke (Lau)

‘….His self-titled debut album simply brims over with originality and talent’ – (August 2017)

‘…..they complement Ryan’s inventive and inspiring violin mastery so that the wonderful sound just takes flight, soars and swoops’ – Folk Wales Magazine July 2017

‘…the man makes the fiddle articulate the widest range of emotions and illustrations – and listening to him play you realise he is surely in possession of a magnificent gift’ – FolkWords July 2017


CD Cover for Ryan's Debut Album; please click on it for a higher resolution version for print useage.

Ryan Young CD Cover
Artist: Carol Dewart

These photos below may be used for articles and publicity about Ryan.
Please click on each photo for a higher resolution version for print useage; the large versions do not have watermarks.

Fiddler Ryan Young
Photographer: Roddy Martine

Ryan Young Violin Portrait

Ryan Young Fiddle

Ryan Young Fiddler

Scottish fiddler Ryan Young in Ireland

Scottish Violinst Ryan Young

Scottish Fiddle Player Ryan Young

Scottish Violin Player Ryan Young

Ryan Young Sheep
A fan of Ryan's has stamped his sheep with Ryan's name. But where are they? Ryan would love to know. More info here.


Ryan Young at Sidmouth Festival 2018

Ryan Young at Baltimore Fiddle Fair 2018

Ryan Young and Dennis Cahill 2017

Ryan Young, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill 2017