The Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra


The Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is the performing group of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club.  Under the direction of Neil Pearlman the orchestra performs arrangements of various Scottish and Cape Breton tunes.  In addition to their own Gala concert the fiddle orchestra performs at various festivals and events.  This year performances include the New Hampshire Highland Games, the Gore Place Fall Festival in Waltham (September 24th), BCMFest (January 14th), NEFFA (New England Folk Festival).  The group includes fiddles, guitars, mandolins, flutes, piano and other instruments.

If you are interested in having the orchestra perform at your event contact Katharine MacPhail.


Join the Orchestra!

If you are interested in joining the orchestra contact Katharine for information and rehearsal locations.  If you are unsure if your instrument would fit in contact Katharine.  We are open to a variety instruments.  Rehearsals are held in the Arlington/Lexington area on select Thursdays.

2017 Spring schedule of rehearsals with Neil

January 12
January 26
February 2
February 9
February 23
March 9
March 23
March 30
April 13
April 20 (required rehearsal for NEFFA)
May 4
June (TBA)
*Additional optional rehearsals may be held on the alternate Thursday evenings without Neil.
Performances/Special Events – 2017
January 14 – BCMFest, Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
April 22, 3:00pm – NEFFA performance, Mansfield Middle School
June 10 – Boston Scottish Fiddle Club Gala
September 15, 16 & 17 –  NH Highland Games, Lincoln NH


The Back Story

On a cool April evening in Lexington, MA 15-20 fiddlers, guitarists, mandolinists and one flute player are gathered into a large living room tuning up. The Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is getting ready to rehearse. Led by pianist Neil Pearlman (“a tremendous pianist” –BBC Radio Scotland), the BSFO is a new performance group associated with the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club. Founded more than 30 years ago the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club has long been an important part of the Boston Celtic music scene, sponsoring workshops, sessions and concerts in order to spread the appreciation of Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle music. From 1981 to 1999, fiddler Ed Pearlman (Neil’s father) directed the club, coordinating and planning events and leading a performance group made up of BSFC members in an annual concert series called the Boston Scottish Fiddle Rally, which featured major international fiddling soloists such as Natalie MacMaster, Alasdair Fraser and Ali Bain. In the 2000’s the performance side of the club became less active, until the Orchestra was launched this year. Bringing in Ed’s son Neil to direct the group, the Club has renewed its commitment to bring great Scottish music to the Boston community.

The brand new Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra held a smashingly successful inaugural concert and gala fundraiser on June 11th, 2016 at the Canadian American Club in Watertown.  The BSFO provided entertainment and back-up to a fantastic line-up of musical guests featuring fiddle luminary Hanneke Cassell (“one of the hottest young fiddlers in Boston” –Boston Globe) in addition to rising star Katie McNally and BSFC founder Ed Pearlman.  The event continued with Neil Pearlman calling celidh and cape breton dancing with music by Barbara McOwen, Catherine Miller, Rachel Reeds and Terry Traub. 

In addition to being a super fun party this was a unique opportunity to catch many of the area’s finest Scottish Celtic fiddlers and musicians while supporting the preservation of this fine traditional musical style.  There are plans to make this concert/dance an annual event.  

The event, which included a silent auction, raised significant funds to help support the Orchestra and the BSFC.


All members of the Orchestra are members of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club.

Returning Orchestra members
Please let Katharine know that you plan to continue.  Send $30 for just the Fall or $50 for the entire year.  Make the check out to Boston Scottish Fiddle Club  and send it to Christine Tessier, 37 Wendell St., #22, Cambridge, MA 02138 or give it to Christine at an upcoming rehearsal.
New Orchestra members
First semester fee is $60 to $80 (sliding scale) and second semester will be $30.
To join or renew your BSFC membership make a check out to Boston Scottish Fiddle Club  and send it to Christine Tessier, 37 Wendell St., #22, Cambridge, MA 02138 or give it to Christine at an upcoming rehearsal, OR go to the “How To Join” page on this website to pay online.
Annual memberships (Sept. – August) are $35 Youth, $50 Individual, $70 Family.