IAN WHITELAW is a devoted and extremely talented bagpiper who brings 39 years of education, experience, and exceptional training to his musical performances, competitions, and special projects. What distinguishes Ian's playing is his extraordinary passion, not only to create a remarkable sound of the instrument itself but for the unique way in which the music is expressed.
Whitelaw speaks often of his special attention to connecting with the 'story' of the musical piece; he fulfills this goal daily through his instruction of the bagpipes where he also helps to stimulate the students' bond with the 'heart and soul' of the music.
Whitelaw has been very successful taking the music of the Scottish highland bagpipe into the entertainment industry, working as a creative consultant and performer on top films and television shows including The Rundown, The General's Daughter, The Simpsons, The West Wing, American Dad, and Arli$$. He is as comfortable and enthusiastic playing in a competition for world-renowned judges as he is on stage at the Hollywood Bowl.
Whitelaw is an accomplished competitor, having received many prizes and medals throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to demonstrating his talents as a player of Light Music, winning several competitions, Whitelaw has consistently won in Piobaireachd (the classical music of the bagpipe) in the course of his bagpipe playing career. Among the highlights for Whitelaw was receiving the top prize at the Pleasanton Highland Games, the Purgavie Horn, in September of 2003, and placing second overall in the very prestigious GS McLennan Invitational Contest held in San Diego, California with second in both the Piobaireachd and MSR events. He also is the champion piper of the WUSPBA for 2003, 2004, and again in 2005. In 2004, he won the Open Piobaireachd competition held at the Queen Mary Scottish Festival in Long Beach. Whitelaw traveled to Scotland to compete in the Gold Medal Competitions held in Oban and Inverness. He was selected from a list of nearly 100 competitors to join a group of 30 contestants for the very prestigious prize for classical music, the Highland Society of London's Gold Medal. In 2005, Ian won the prize for the most musical performance in the United States Prize Pipe Competition held in Michigan. Whitelaw won the Angus MacDonald Piping Competition, held at the Sheraton Towers Hotel in San Diego, in October of 2005. He recently won the United States Gold Medal for Piobaireachd held in Kansas City, Missouri.
Whitelaw has also released his own CD entitled "Angels From Atlantis" - featuring an original composition - a project that was supported and encouraged by the Durfee Foundation in Los Angeles. His goal is to bring the great highland bagpipe to the public ear with all the grandness and spirit this very special instrument has and to have it be presented as a majestic instrument of the woodwind family rather than as a novelty, as it is sometimes thought of by the casual listener.