Iain Morrison, 1946-2020
Iain M. Morrison, one of the greatest competitive pipers of the last 100 years, died on December 17, 2020, at the age of 74 after a lengthy illness.
A Pipe-Major with the Queen’s Own Highlanders, Morrison was from the Isle of Lewis and rose to prominence in the 1960s as one of the world’s great pipers, winning the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting in 1969 and the Silver Star MSR at the same event in 1972 and 1976, as well as the Clasp in 1980.
At the Glenfiddich Championships, he was the winner of the MSR in 1979 and 1980, winning the overall trophy in 1980.
Morrison single-handedly shook up the solo piping world by delivering a round style of reel playing, exemplified in his own composition, “The Ness Pipers,” which was one of the most popular tunes with pipers and pipe bands in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Other great compositions by Morrison include the jig, “Flora MacIsaac,” and the hornpipe, “Arthur Gillies.”
A pupil of the great Pipe-Major Donald MacLeod MBE, Morrison was the main organizer of the annual invitational memorial competition, held in Stornoway, Lewis.
Since retiring from the military and solo piping, Morrison was a frequent judge at elite solo competitions but led a quiet life in the Hebrides.
Our sympathies are with Iain Morrison’s family and many friends at this sad time.