Pauline Cato is one of the leading exponents of the Northumbrian Pipes. She took up the pipes at the age of thirteen and over the next few years won all the major competitions for the instrument. She has been a professional musician since 1993 and has performed all over the world – both solo and in a duo with fiddler Tom McConville.
Pauline’s style is traditional, but she is also well known for expanding the repertoire of the pipes and is often in demand for new projects.
These have included the premier performances of A Northumbrian Symphony (Robert Sherlaw-Johnson), The Shipley Set (Alistair Anderson), Cullercoats Tommy with the Northern Sinfonia (Eddie McGuire), The Heart of Us, – A Wansbeck Suite (William Sweeney) and Bewick’s Tunes (Anthony Houghton) arranged for Northumbrian Pipes and wind orchestra.
She also performed on the soundtracks of the BBC TV dramas Badger (1999/ 2000) and Clay (2008). She was a member of the group “The Pipes of Four Nations”, along with Mick O’Brien (Uillean Pipes), Francois Lazaravitch (French Musette), Barnaby Brown (Scottish Smallpipes) Javier Sainz and Bill Taylor (Harps). More recently Pauline has been in great demand as a teacher of the pipes and has given tuition on numerous piping courses over the last 35 years.
Pauline also has a successful recording career, having released nine albums throughout the course of her career. Two of her albums with Tom McConville were chosen as The Daily Telegraph’s Folk Album of the Year (in 1996 and 1999).