Bridges Concert Programme Spain February 2017

Algeciras, 22nd February 2017

Boecillo, 25 th February 2017

Irish Air. Morrissey’s Jig. Mary McCarthy, Traditional

Gigue; from Partita n 1 in B flat Major, last movement (Suzuki Book 4). J. S. Bach

Rondo (Suzuki Book 4). W. A. Mozart

Lord Inchiquin, Fanny Power, Sí Beag, Sí Mór.  T. O’Carolan

Andante; from 2nd movement, Sonatina in C major (Suzuki Book 3).  M. Clementi

Mag’s Chant. Ruby Mackay

Working Songs from Scotland: 1- Thá mí scí (I am tired). 2- Cuigeal na Mhaidhean (the Spinning Wheel of the Maiden).  (Pentatonic). Traditional

“Scot in China”. Fragments of Scottish and Chinese Folksongs, all in Pentatonic mode.  Eddy McGuire.

Spiel. from “Wheen Tunes for Bairns Tae Spiel”. Pentatonic mode.  Ronald Stevenson Nocturne for Novi Sad.  Eddy McGuire

Oro. By Miroslaw Statkic. Professor of composition, Novi Sad Academy

Dance n. 2 and Dance n. 3. Vassily Mokranjaç

Balkan Dance n. 1 and Balkan Dance n. 6. Marco Tajevic

Polonaise in G minor. F. Chopin (aged 8)

Port an Deorán (Bridge of Tean) 9/8 jig. (E minor). Mary McCarthy. Traditional

Le Coucou. E minor. (Suzuki book 5). Daquin

St. Patrick Prays for Peace in the Gardens of Craiglockhart. Richard Dinghann

Christ Child Lullaby. Mary McCarthy. Traditional



Mary in Riga

Just boarding my flight to Belgrade,Serbia.

Nineteen years since I met Professor Statkic and many others, tomorrow,we will meet again…

This is my last night here in Novi Sad, Serbia, for now.

I will be back-dates have already been discussed, in a provisional way.

I am sitting and enjoying looking at the music I have been given by the composers themselves -

Three CDs, plus score with handwritten dedication from Professor Statkic, a CD of music by Professor Statkic’s colleague at Novi Sad Academy, Professor Zoran Mulic whom I had met for the first time over a very leisurely lunch yesterday and then, today, he invited me to the composers’ room, to listen to a variety of his music, including liturgical music in Roma, the first composer to write in this language.

Then, another surprise and generous gift of 5 books from a publication of only 300, from
Professor Ira Prodanov who introduced me to the music of Miloge Milojevic, whose piano pieces, in five books (similar to Bartok’s six Mikrokosmos) have been published with funds from the Tempus project, a European Union project introducing Interdisciplinarity in Music Studies in the Western Balkans.  University of Novi Sad Academy of Arts is responsible for bringing these pieces to the wider public and Professor Prodanov has been involved in the project for three years.

On Tuesday morning,as arranged, I waited excitedly, for my first meeting with Professor Statkic, since October 1996.  He arrived with our interpreter, Petar Bursac, who was responsible for all the correspondences with me, prior to my arrival, plus all the arrangements for my two-day visit. Petar is officially ‘International Relations Officer,’ at the Academy, but that title does not do justice to all Petar’s gifts.

The biggest surprise for me, was to see that the two men were such friends.  Then I learnt that Petar had been a composition student of Professor Statkic and they are now very close friends as well as colleagues.

The hugs and kisses went on for a wonderfully long time!

To be continued….

Mary in Novi Sad

Mary in Novi Sad March 2016

Ronald Stevenson

Pianist and Composer Ronald Stevenson

I first met Ronald in April 1988 in Edinburgh.

The occasion was an afternoon of music-making,with Ronald playing and teaching-all part of Ronald’s 60th Birthday Celebration hosted by European Piano Teachers’ Association.

The energy, warmth, phenomenal pianism, breadth of knowledge, sense of fun, humanity, in the way he dealt with each  little pianist, all of these and much more, still live in my memory after all those years.

Less than ten years later, Ronald and Marjorie had become the closest friends I had in Scotland.

Ronald was my constant mentor, always encouraging my interest in Traditional Music,offering me new musical worlds every time I saw him.

He and Marjorie were responsible for introducing me to Margaret Fay Shaw, who lived in Canna and whose seminal book, “Folksong and Folklore of South Uist”, has been a most important source for all our Traditional Music students. In time, Margaret became a friend and the greatest source of knowledge on everything to do with her many years in South Uist collecting folksongs and folklore.

When I started teaching piano on the new Traditional Music degree course, it was to Ronald I went, week in and week out in the early years of the course, to discuss, ask advice, and always, get more ideas, more musical examples, and even more importantly, he made me feel that it was possible to create a piano course which would incorporate as many aspects of pianism from every genre and yet, would be faithful to the Traditional Music ethos as well.

 In the conservatoire, I needed a room with two pianos, in order to be able to demonstrate, as one would do if one were teaching fiddle. Ronald gave me great encouragement in the early days, to insist on this requirement. He could see that it was an essential element in the way traditional music should be taught.

From the start, I realised that it would be invaluable for my first-study students to go down to Ronald’s house in West Linton and to experience this unique world of  his. I have  also, to include his wife Marjorie in this, because they both shared his musical vision and this encapsulated a world-view of music, with no comparisons, only respect for all traditions and all humanity.

Ronald listened to the students’ own arrangements, gave them invaluable insights into their performances, from a pianistic point of view, a historical point of view, or, immediately, going to his bookshelves and producing some  book which was relevant. Ronald invariably made everyone feel that they were special.

Always, we stayed for lunch in the kitchen, provided by Marjorie, and afterwards, there would be more music-making.

Ronald’s own musical output is well-known to some musicians but not to all and I had the great pleasure, over all the years, of getting to know all of Ronald’s piano music, which is based or influenced by folk music, including his arrangements of music by Percy Grainger and Frederick Delius.

Ronald celebrated his last birthday on 6th March 2016, sharing music and love with all his family.

For twenty seven years, he gave so much to me and from the very start of our piano course, he has been the most important source of inspiration for all our piano students.

Bridges – Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015

3 unique concerts from Edinburgh based pianist

Mary McCarthy, celebrating 20 years continuous development in bridging the music of Serbia and Scotland.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 19th, 24th and 26th August – Venues vary


Aug 19, 2.30-3.30pm (£8/£5)

The Jazz Bar | Fringe Venue 57 | BOOK

Edinburgh pianist Mary McCarthy is back for her 3rd successive year, following her series of concerts in Peru, Latvia, USA, Ireland, Scotland and Spain.


Aug 24, 7-8pm (£8/£5)

The Jazz Bar | Fringe Venue 57 | BOOK

Aug 26, 4.30-5.30pm (£8/£5)

St Andrew’s and St George’s West | Fringe Venue 111 | BOOK

Two opportunities to experience Bridges: Mary McCarthy – Stevenson, McGuire, Statkic, Mokranjac and Tajcevic. Launching Mary’s new CD Bridges – a programme of piano music bridging Scotland and Serbia. This folk-inspired music is the fruit of 20 years of performing and continuous development.

Venue details:

The Jazz Bar, 1A Chambers St, EH1 1HR | 0131 220 4298

St Andrew’s and St George’s West, George St EH2 2PA | 0131 225 3847

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Traditional Piano Music from Scotland and Ireland
4pm 13 August (1 hour)
The Jazz Bar

‘Mary McCarthy beguiles with understatement and glistens with melodic clarity. The harmony is at times compound but never over-played showing no need to force the vernacular. As such, this is the only recent solo piano recording of the Gaelic and Irish traditions that I can recommend without hesitation’ (Peter Urpeth, In Praise of Uist – Molaidh Uist,

Booking at

Folk-inspired Piano Jewels
4pm 5-7 August (1hour)
The Jazz Bar

Folk-inspired piano jewels from Scotland, Ireland, the Balkans and South America; including music by Ronald Stevenson, Alberto Ginastera, Eddie McGuire, Percy Grainger and Miroslav Statkic.

Booking at

Step into my Parlour

I went along to see Michelle Burke‘s show last night at the Fringe-its at Royal Oak.Its called, “Step into my Parlour“.
Michelle is in her “parlour”,,, you can see photos of it on her Twitter page. Its a real “step-back-in-time” experience but with Michelle’s sense of humour and her great voice, with James Ross as ever, giving sensitive backing to her songs,its well worth the trip.
For those who know Michelle’s album, this is a much more light-hearted selection of songs and the art-work, done by Michelle’s sister is an essential part of the whole experience. It’s obvious that this show has been a long time being hatched.

Valledolid Concert

I am just about to leave for Madrid airport to return home to Edinburgh after a fantastic week.

My concert in Valledolid was a wonderful experience for me and also the audience (of every age) loved the Scottish and Irish music and the stories behind the music.  I had the perfect translator – one of the teachers who is studying with me in Edinburgh, Gracia.

She knew a lot of the audience, which added an extra dimension and also made me realise that the concert in Latvia will have the same buzz in September.

Of course, for those of you who are keeping up with this project, you will probably know that there are three further concerts in the Edinburgh Fringe on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th August, in the Danish Institute.

As far as the Spanish part is concerned, I was helped in all sorts of ways by a number of people there, especially the family of Gracia and Pedro, Daniel and Eunice, who have a school near Valledolid, called the Anna Magdelana School.

World Saxophone Congress 2012

I am just leaving for St.Andrews for the rehearsal at 1pm. Fantastic rehearsal on Sunday – fantastic fun doing it with all the saxes-including Baritone Sax.

In our group is the legendary Claude Delangle, who is Professor of Sax at the Paris Conservatoire… Only the third Prof since Adolphe Sax, the Belgian who invented the sax in 1856!
Nine years since my last venture into the World Congress- that was in Minneapolis, 2003.

Upcoming concerts

JULY World Saxophone Congress 2012, St Andrews…

Mary will be performing as part of the opening concert of the World Saxophone Congress XVI at Younger Hall in St Andrews on Tuesday the 10th of July.

AUGUST Concerts in the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe…

Mary will be performing ‘Songs of the Outer Hebrides’

Wed 22nd/23rd/24th August, 7.30pm at the Danish Institute, 3 Doune Terrace, EH3 6DY – Fringe Venue 64.