top of page

Cello Chat with Host Dr. Benjamin Whitcomb and guest Abby Newton

About the Episode 

Today I welcome with the greatest of enthusiasm, a cellist that has helped bring the cello into traditional music, Abby Newton. I talk with Abby about her beginnings with the cello and what techniques she uses to make her music intriguing and amazing. We talk about her cello retreats in the Catskill Mountains where she calls home.

Meet the Guest

Abby Newton is well known for her groundbreaking work in the revival of the cello in American and Scottish traditional music. In the late-70's, she began performing with The Putnam String County Band, making it the first modern string band with a cello. At the same time, she began an active and continuing recording career where she has co-produced and performed on over a hundred folk recordings including 16 CDs with Scottish singer Jean Redpath.         Abby's solo CDs "Crossing to Scotland," "Castles, Kirks, and Caves," and "Ferintosh" have earned her critical acclaim in the U.S. and abroad. She has appeared on Prairie Home Companion several times. Fiona Ritchie of the NPR show, Thistle and Shamrock, did a feature program on Abby's music and her influence on the folk cello movement.         She has toured with her band Ferintosh throughout the UK and US, and currently plays with the Skye Trio. At her magical home in the Catskill Mountains she holds annual cello retreats, as well as zoom or in-person private instruction.        Abby has been on the forefront of bringing the cello into traditional music. She has created two books for cello transcribing the airs, strathspeys, and reels from traditional and contemporary sources, making these available to students and teachers.

Learn more:

bottom of page