Portrait of Piper John Bàn Mackenzie

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commissioned by the Marquis of Breadalbane for Taymouth Castle

Postcard of Portrait of Piper John Bàn Mackenzie.
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Portrait of Piper John Bàn Mackenzie

John Bàn Mackenzie (1796-1864), piper, composer and pipemaker, was born in Achilty, Contin, Strathpeffer, and was taught piping by Donald Mòr MacLennan, John Beag MacRae and John Mackay of Raasay. He competed and was awarded the special gold medal for former winners when first issued in 1835; he was then styled 'King of Pipers' or Rìgh nam Piobairean. He is a key figure in the transmission of traditional piobaireachd or 'classical' bagpipe music from the MacCrimmons to the present day, John Mackay of Raasay having been taught by Iain Dubh and Domhnall Ruadh, the last of the MacCrimmons of Skye. As a professional piper of the 19th century, he was successively piper to Mackenzie of Allangrange, Davidson of Tulloch and the Marquis of Breadalbane with whom he remained for 28 years. He earned a place in piping tradition, not only for his skills and achievements, but also for turning down an invitation to join the Royal Household by becoming Queen Victoria's Piper.

The Museum of Piping was opened in the National Piping Centre in Glasgow in 1995. The Centre acts as a national and international centre of excellence for the bagpipe and its music and offers tuition at all levels within a purpose-built school. It is housed in a former church and manse in McPhater Street, Cowcaddens, in the centre of the city, next to the Theatre Royal, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. The Centre has its piping school with rehearsal, practice and tuition rooms, a performance hall, reference library, hotel accommodation and restaurant as well as the Museum of Piping itself.

The Museum of Piping has been assembled by the National Museums of Scotland from their collections of bagpipes and related material. The Museum describes and illustrates principally the Great Highland Bagpipe and some of its history. Drawing on the collections of the former Royal Scottish Museum, the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland and the Scottish United Services Museum, the displays also look at the richness and variety of the piping traditions of Britain and Europe. Open storage in drawers below the display cases adds more examples and information to the sequence of instruments in the exhibition.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-540-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  Bagpipe Archive 1.13
What: Portrait of John Bàn Mackenzie
Who: John Bàn Mackenzie (depicted)
Marquis of Breadalbane (commissioner of portrait)
Where: Scotland, Perthshire, Taymouth Castle (originally commissioned for the castle)
Description: Portrait of John Bàn Mackenzie.
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