Georgina MacDonell Finlayson
Georgina MacDonell Finlayson is a versatile Scottish violinist, fiddle player, composer and community arts practitioner. With a particular interest in collaborative, cross-genre and multidisciplinary performance, her creative practice is driven by a desire to reach new audiences, tell stories, and contribute to a music industry that is relevant to the world of today. She enjoys performing an extensive range of repertoire, with a particular interest in contemporary music, folk inspired repertoire and cross-genre ensembles.
A current core member of Sinfonia Cymru, the UK’s leading under 30s orchestra, Georgina has performed with diverse ensembles across the UK. Among others, this includes Manchester Concert Orchestra, The Untold Orchestra, Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, Magnetic Opera and Nevis Ensemble, and at festivals including Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms. She is a founding member of award-winning string quartet Vulva Voce (Winners Nonclassical ‘Battle of the Bands’ 2023, RNCM StART Creative Innovators Award 2022, RNCM Elias Prize 2022). Specialising in music written by women and underrepresented voices, they also write and perform their own music, alongside unique collaborations and specially commissioned works.
As a fiddle player, she often works with live storytelling and theatre, appearing at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She is onstage musician and composer for intimate theatre show Miss Lindsay’s Secret (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021/22, UK Tour 2022), blending shruti box, original folk composition, soundscape and archival material. She recently appeared as fiddle soloist with the WDR Funkhausorchester in Cologne, including the premier of a new work for fiddle and orchestra.
Her compositional experience includes writing music for film and theatre, original folk composition and arrangement, electroacoustic composition, and chamber and orchestral works. Her creative practice is often inspired by folk music, nature, landscape and the climate crisis. Her music has been played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Red Note Ensemble, Nevis Ensemble, and Any Enemy, performed at Aberdeen’s soundfestival and broadcast on the BBC Radio 3 New Music Show. From 2020-2022 she was a selected composer on the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s ‘New Stories’ Scheme for emerging composers, receiving mentorship from Anna Clyne.
Throughout her creative work, education and community projects have always been a strong driving force. She is currently a Lead Ambassador with the Benedetti Foundation, and has varied experience leading and assisting with music education programmes across the UK, including Sistema Scotland and RNCM Pathfinders. In 2023 she was selected as a ‘curator’ on Making Music and Sound and Music’s ‘Adopt a Music Creator’ scheme. This involved working over the course of seven months to collaboratively devise a new work for two community choirs.
Georgina holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Edinburgh and in 2022 completed a Masters in Music at the Royal Northern College of Music, studying with Cath Yates and Pavel Fischer. She plays on a William E. Hill & Sons violin kindly on loan to her from the Benslow Music Trust.