Aberdeen Performing Arts is a vibrant, cultural hub at the heart of city life inspiring, exploring and engaging through live performances and creative projects. Creating A Spark in the North-east with our homegrown shows and productions.

Genre-defining, ground-breaking artists from Scotland collaborate with the best roots talent from across the Northern hemisphere in these unique, exclusive Music Hall sessions.

Explore the contemporary folk music of Scotland, Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltic region and more with the very best musicians from these regions. Pre-show events in the Music Hall café, start at 6.45pm. The bar will be open for one hour after the show for meeting the artists and informal networking, the concert will begin at 7.30pm.


A look back at our previous Northern Arc sessions featuring genre-defining, ground-breaking artists from
Scotland collaborating with the best roots talent from across the Northern hemisphere


Lau with
Dreamers’ Circus

The Lemon Tree,
Friday 27 May 2016


Lau are modern folk music’s most innovative band. Brilliant musicians, thrilling performers and free-thinking visionaries. In February 2013 Lau won the award for Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk awards for a fourth time.

Dreamers’ Circus are a unique blending of precocious talent, remarkable technical skill and bold artistic vision. They are one of the main forces behind the current movement towards contemporary and vibrant Danish folk music.


Inge Thomson with

The Lemon Tree,
Saturday 9 April 2016


Well known for her accordion work, innovative vocal harmonies and rich instrumental textures with award winning songwriter Karine Polwart and the ‘other-worldly’ glitch-folk of her solo campaign, Inge Thomson’s latest project “Da Fishing Hands” is a collection of songs inspired by Fair Isle’s intimate and essential relationship with the sea.

Kardemimmit are a Finnish folk music group and players of the kantele, the national instrument of Finland, in its 15 and 38 stringed forms. Their vocal harmonies are tight and fit so well together they could be sisters.


Duncan Chisholm with
Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys

Music Hall,
Saturday 13 February 2016


Duncan Chisholm is one of Scotland’s most recognised and accomplished fiddle players and composers.  Born and brought up near Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, Duncan has spent most of his life developing his unique musical voice.  Fiddle playing at its best, Duncan’s feather-light handling of dynamics and ornamentation, allied with his pure-distilled tone, lend his characteristic spine-tingling magic to his music.

Blazing hot Michigan roots ensemble Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys rest on the cusp of change, poised at that moment where everything shifts into high gear and time rushes forward. The instruments and the bedrock of the band may come from bluegrass, but the music that Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys present on their new album Ionia can best be described as Americana. This is music that’s caught between the pull of the past and the push of the beckoning future, ready to leap forward bursting with new ideas and youthful energy.


Julie Fowlis
& Le Vent Du Nord

Music Hall,
Sunday 13 September 2015

Julie Fowlis
’ exquisite voice, her interpretation of Scottish Gaelic culture and ability to bring folk music out of the past and into something contemporary, dynamic and irresistible, are what have made her a genuine and multi-award winning crossover star. Her roots may be firmly in folk music and the Scottish Gaelic culture she grew up in, but her talent and style have brought her into the mainstream.

Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord knows how to turn the lost past into intense and beautiful performances that push their roots in striking global directions. The group is blazing a path that connects their Québecois roots to the wider world, in both arrangements and on stage.


With Valkyrien Allstars

Music Hall,
Saturday 27 June 2015

are modern folk music’s most innovative band. Brilliant musicians, thrilling performers and free-thinking visionaries. In February 2013 Lau won the award for Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for a fourth time (winners previously in 2008, 2009 and 2010).

Stunning Norwegian trio Valkyrien Allstars, led by the incomparable singer/ fiddler Tuva Livsdatter Syvertsen, bring their uniquely interpreted blend of folk and rock to what is sure to be an explosive evening.


Karen Matheson Band
with Erlend Viken Trio

Music Hall,
Friday 3 April 2015

Bringing together the stunning voice of Karen Matheson and her band who comprise some of Scotland’s finest musicians, with the multi-talented Norwegian Erlend Viken Trio. Recognised as the compelling vocals of Celtic super group Capercaillie, Karen has long been an admirer of fiddler Erlend Viko and they have collaborated to bring to Northern Arc a first ever live performance of both groups.

Erlend is joined by guitarist Juhani Silvola and cellist Jonas Bleckman and Karen is joined by long-time collaborator Donald Shaw on piano, plus special guest appearances by several award-winning musicians.


Karine Polwart
with Sigrid Moldestad

Music Hall,
Saturday 7 February 2015

These two performers signify what the Northern Arc Sessions are all about – a loving respect for the folk traditions of their respective nations, but with a newness and dynamism which brings fresh contemporary relevance.

Karine Polwart has been described as “one of the finest singer-songwriters in Britain” known for her talent for creating unique and enduring melodies for her achingly pure vocal ability. Sigrid Moldestad was Norwegian Folk Musician of the Year in 2010 and her songs, fiddle tunes and storytelling are full of humour and beauty.


The Chair With
Henrik Jansberg Band

Music Hall,
Saturday 18 October 2014

The second year of the Northern Arc sessions began with sensational, high-energy, folk rock band The Chair from Orkney and they are paired with Danish fiddler Henrik Jansberg and his band.

Both artists have won the folk / trad musician of the year in their respective countries, and are very highly regarded – set to be be a lively, enjoyable evening.



Treacherous Orchestra
& Lay Low

Music Hall,
Saturday 31 May 2014

Emerging from the vibrant melting-pot of Glasgow’s 21st-century folk scene, Treacherous Orchestra take Scottish dance music into a thrilling new dimension. Comprising ten of Scotland’s, and two of Ireland’s, finest young instrumentalists (or should that just be mentalists?), this truly turbocharged collective have incited merry mayhem at every one of their previous appearances.

They picked extraordinary Lay Low, the alter-ego of Icelandic singer/songwriter Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir, to join them to play the night away.



Peatbog Faeries
& Hedningarna

Music Hall,
Sunday 13 April 2014

Based on the Isle of Skye, the Peatbog Faeries have been at the forefront of the Celtic Dance Music renaissance for many years, taking traditional Scottish music and bringing it into the 21st century.

We needed to find an international artist who could match their energy, high octane performance, and unbelievable musicianship. Cue Hedningarna, ‘The Heathens’, from Sweden, the trio weild a forest of strange instruments, and a unique style that has awarded them the accolate of ‘best live act’ many times.



Natalie MacMaster with Paul Anderson
and Old Blind Dogs

Music Hall,
Saturday 5 October 2013

To start the Northern Arc season, acclaimed North-east fiddler, Paul Anderson, the finest Scots fiddler of his generation invited Grammy Award winning Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster to join him on stage for this one-off world exclusive performance in Aberdeen. MacMaster is world renowned as an electrifying performer and thrills audiences across the globe on stage, radio and TV.

Together theypay tribute to composer James Scott Skinner, ‘The Strathspey King’ on the 170th anniversary of his birth. With dynamic band Old Blind Dogs, who remain at the cutting edge of Scotland’s roots revival,  BBC Radio Scotland’s Mark Stephen, young fiddlers and dancers, the night is a celebration of musical traditions exported from Scotland to Canada.