Short Biog

Lori Watson is the first Doctor of Artistic Research in Scottish Music, and an authority on contemporary traditional music practice in Scotland. Drawing on her strong roots in the rich creative tradition of the Scottish Borders, she has become a leading interpreter of Scottish folk music and Scots song and her skills as a performer, composer, researcher and educator are widely recognised. Her performance, composition and songwriting can be heard with award-winning groups Boreas, Watson/Black, Rule Of Three and Fireside Music Company (with Dr Margaret Bennett). Lori Watson combines groundbreaking research and creative and composition work with a busy performance and teaching schedule to fulfil her expansive interest in music.


Brought up in the Scottish Borders, Lori Watson now resides in Glasgow, her birthplace. She has been playing the fiddle since the age of 10, is a singer and interpreter of Scots and traditional song and composer of tunes, songs and innovative works.

Lori graduated with a BA honours in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2003. In her final year, Lori specialised in performance, composition, broadcasting and research with a particular interest in her musical roots – the rich traditions of the Scottish Borders.

Lori completed her PhD in Artistic Research and Ethnomusicology through the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of St Andrews in 2013, which explored issues surrounding creativity and innovation in a contemporary Scottish context, principally through her own creative practice and experiments in the world of traditional music. Her research is currently being prepared for several publications including a Cambridge University Press title.


Lori is an award-winning performer, appearing solo and with groups. She was a BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician finalist in 2002 / 2003. Performing extensively throughout the UK, Europe and Canada, broadcasting on radio, television and the internet throughout the world and working with artists such as Cara Dillon, Karine Polwart, Cathal McConnell, David Francey, Iain Morrison, The Unusual Suspects and Scottish Women has confirmed Lori’s reputation as a leading traditional musician of her generation.

Lori performs with her own band as well as groups Boreas, a Scots-Norsk project with Britt Pernille Frøholm (hardanger fiddle), Rachel Newton (clarsach and voice) and Irene Tillung (Chromatic Accordion); Watson/Black with accordionist Fiona Black; Rule Of Three, an award-winning trio with piano accordion (John Somerville) and guitar (Ali Hutton); Iain Morrison and Fireside Music Company with Dr Margaret Bennett. Lori’s debut self-produced album :Three and Rule Of Three’s Pleasure’s Coin were released by ISLE Music Scotland in 2006 and 2009, and Ahoy Hoy from Boreas is officially releasing in 2015 along with Lori’s new solo album Yarrow.

Education work

Currently Lead Tutor for the flagship Tolbooth Trad music workshops for Stirling Council since 2006 and Lecturer and Examiner in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland since 2008, for 10 years, Lori was Senior Tutor at Glasgow Fiddle Workshop where she developed the GFW Juniors classes and teaching resources.

Lori was a tutor on the Folk and Traditional Music degree at Newcastle University (2008-2012) and an arts tutor for South Lanarkshire Council, piloting the Early Years traditional music workshops. She also has extensive workshop and masterclass experience of all abilities and ages.

Lori has just completed a PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education where she focussed on equality and inclusion, dyslexia, mental health, performance assessment, e-learning and ways to engage performance practitioners in research and relevant contexts.