Golden Fiddle Awards 2013
As a peak organisation who's mission is to support, acknowledge and promotefiddle music, players, teachers and composers within Australasia, we believe Marian encompasses all this. She is a bright burning
light within our industry and her infectious energy, unique fiddle playing and community mindedness has and continues to make a significant difference to our industry and her audiences. We adore her.
Chairman Golden Fiddle Awards Ltd 2013
Waipu Celtic Festival January 2009
My wife and I spent the New Year up in Whangarei
with my in-laws and I was persuaded to go along to
the Celtic Festival at Waipu yesterday. What a
stroke of luck. Coming from Ireland, I was
brought up with Irish music, and was quite involved
in Irish affairs during my 20 years in South Africa,
serving on the Rose of Tralee and St Patrick's Day
Festival committees. I prided myself in having
seen some great fiddlers in my time but
nothing prepared me for your performance at the
Celtic Festival yesterday. I was absolutely
blown away. Your versions of Kirsty McColl's
singing and playing Christmas in New York and
The Devil Went Down to Georgia, were hair-raising,
absolutely fantastic. You made a reference
yesterday to the time you played with the Chieftains
- Wow! The Best with the Best... ..
I couldn't help thinking on the way back to
Whangarei that I had just seen a truly great
performer keep us spellbound for 45 minutes.
Keep it up, it's fantastic. We will certainly
be making plans to see you perform again
Wanganui Chronicle: April 2008
STANDING OVATION FOR MUSICIANS
Marian Burns and Ben McDonald. Wanganui
Repertory Theatre. Sunday. Mary Bryan
As promised, the music was fast and furious in
this concert by fiddle player/vocalist Marian
Burns and pianist/vocalist Ben McDonald
A top New Zealand fiddle player, Burns has
justifiably been described as New Zealand's
fastest fiddler, and she has a personality to
That she and McDonald are experts in playing an
audience as well as their instruments was
evident from the moment they appeared on stage.
With a patter as fast and as furious as their
music, in the style of the TV series Hi-de-Hi
Holiday Camp, they had the audience
singing, clapping and tapping away for a solid 2
Burns' tremendous infectious energy, coupled
with superb musicianship, saw her named the
Country Music Entertainer of the Year.
She has a New Zealand Variety Club Scroll of
Honour for her dedication to the music
profession and introducing children to music,
On Sunday it was easy to see how she got
children enthused when she managed to get all
the males in the audience to their feet - not
just once - to sing the refrain to Fiddler On
Ben McDonald was equally adept at getting the
audience going. Their musicianship earned
a justified standing ovation from the audience.
New Zealand Herald, 2005
"Irish, and every other kind of eyes, were
smiling at the fifth Mission Bay Jazz and Blues
Streetfest yesterday as Marian Burns, a fiddler
in Irish band, The McSweeney Brothers,
entertained the crowds. She had their feet
tapping and their hips swinging.
Nelson - Mike Lipscombe, 2004
FIDDLER SETS STAGE ALIGHT - Marian Burns - aka
the Fabulous Fiery Fiddler, is the total
entertainment package. Last night she
torched the aisles with her impassioned
contribution to the Winter Festival.
The audience was hers from the moment she burst
onstage. They quickly
responded, initially to her warmth and
self-deprecating humour, then to her frantic yet
brilliant fiddle playing.
David Hartnell, 2004
"She has enough energy to light all of Auckland,
including the Sky Tower."
Susan Jarvis - Capital News, Brisbane
A brilliant musician, she is also a comedian and
a natural performer with a personality and
presence that just exudes warmth and delight in
being there. Marian's success is due to
the fact that she doesn't just entertain an
audience - she makes them feel good too."
Opotoki News - Mike Butterworth, 2001
"A pocket dynamo, a ball of fire, a violin
virtuoso, the most infectious laugh in town, and
incredible talent, a great personality and the
list goes on. You will be on the edge of your
seats as Marian thrills you with her own special
brand of music. Hang on to your hats and
leave your inhibitions behind when she hits the
New Zealand Country Music Magazine
"Marian Burns set the crowd alight with her
version of the country fiddle standard the
'Orange Blossom special.'' The
audience were captured by her enthusiasm and
unrestricted style, probably a little overawed
by her professional presentation and responded
with wild applause. By the end of the
evening she had demonstrated exactly why she
deserved the title of "Entertainer of the Year."
The Southland Times, Gore - June 1997
Fiddler Marian Burns must leave critics
floundering for superlatives. She
certainly left the audience gasping and
clamouring for more after she performed as guest
artist at the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards."
Capital News, Australia - June 1996
"With fiddlers like Pixie Jenkins, Mick Albeck
and Marcus Holden right on our doorstep,
Australians haven't had to look far for talented
players. But a young lady from across the
Tasman is about to give our best fiddlers a run
for their money."
"When she took part in this year's Norfolk
Island Country Music Festival, as a headline act
from New Zealand, Marian revealed her secret to
the many Australians in the audience.
What's more she had them clamouring for more."
Norfolk Island Bulletin - May 1996
"I don't think the Bean Shed has ever seen such
enthusiasm and energy as it did last Tuesday
afternoon when the Primary children were treated to
a visit by Marian Burns, the violinist who created
such interest with her skill at the Country Music
Festival." :"Certainly an enthusiastic and
entertaining afternoon all around."