Bonnie Rideout (biography)

Bonnie Rideout grew up on a farm in Michigan, spent much of her childhood on Cliff Island, Casco Bay, ME, and studied classical violin at the University of Michigan. Her fiddling, however, reflects the musical traditions of her ancestral home of Scotland.

On stages from Scotland’s Edinburgh International Festival to America’s Kennedy Center, Bonnie Rideout’s unique style of Scottish fiddling has charmed audiences across the globe. Ms. Rideout is the only American to hold the honor of representing Scottish fiddle music at the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival.

Bonnie has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR’s Performance Today, and Morning Edition. She is also consistently played on NPR’s The Thistle and Shamrock. In addition to authoring seven music books for Mel Bay Publishing Company, Bonnie has recorded over thirteen solo albums and appeared as a guest musician on dozens of CDs with Sony, BMG, Time Life, Ryco Disc, Dorian, Rounder Records, and Maggie’s Music. In 2003, she incorporated her own record label, Tulloch Music, Ltd. Her A Scottish Christmas CD became a New York Times “Top Ten Holiday Best Seller”. Its success prompted a touring show that has sold out halls across North America for over a decade. Her popular recording, Gi’Me Elbow Room received the coveted Parent’s Choice Gold Award. She has received numerous Washington Area Music Association “WAMMY” awards every year since 1994. In 2007, the Mel Bay Publishing Company credited Bonnie as one of America’s top ten most influential traditional fiddlers of the 20th century.

Ms. Rideout is the first woman to hold the national Scottish fiddle title and the youngest to have garnered the U.S. Championship, winning it for three consecutive years. Thereafter, Bonnie discontinued competing to become an adjudicator and professional recording artist and has maintained a consistently high profile in the international Celtic music scene for almost thirty years.

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