As a folklorist, writer and singer, Margaret Bennett credits her family upbringing amid Gaelic and Scots tradition bearers with her expertise in Scottish Folklore and folksong. Widely regarded as “Scotland’s foremost folklorist” she “wears her scholarship lightly,” lecturing, singing and storytelling and on both sides of the Atlantic.
Scottish Arts critic Judy Moir wrote it’s “rare to witness such a charismatic and fascinating raconteur.” Prize-winning author with 15 books to her credit, she received the 1998 Master Music Maker Award “(USA) in celebration of a lifetime of musicianship and teaching” and Celtic Women International 2003 award for “lifelong service to Scottish and Celtic Culture”. Collaborations with her son, the late Martyn Bennett, feature in theatre and film, including world-acclaimed theatre drama, ‘The Black Watch’.
Since 2009, she has been a Patron of the Traditional Music and Song Association. In 2011, for her services to traditional music she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama; in 2012 the Royal Scottish Academy elected her Professor of the RSA; in 2014 she was inducted into the Traditional Music Hall of Fame; in 2017 appointed Professor of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and also in 2017 awarded the Saltire Society (Highland Branch) award “for outstanding work in conserving and sustaining the oral traditions, music and song of the Highlands and Islands”.
As the late Hamish Henderson wrote, “Margaret embodies the spirit of Scotland.”
Margaret Bennett 2018