James Scott Skinner was a renowned violinist and one of the great composers for the Scottish fiddle. He was born in Banchory, near Aberdeen, and studied music in Manchester. He returned to Aberdeen and taught dancing throughout the north of Scotland, including at Balmoral when it was Queen Victoria’s home. Meanwhile his fame as a solo violinist spread so rapidly that he eventually gave up dancing to concentrate on composing and performance. Known as the ‘Strathspey King’, Skinner achieved immense popularity with his prolific output of strathspeys and reel tunes. He was one of the first recording artists in Scotland and many of his tunes are well-known even today.