David McCallum


1897 – 1972


An outstanding violinist born in Kilsyth, Scotland. He learned locally from the age of seven and then at music academy in Glasgow. After winning a scholarship to the Royal College, London, at 14 he studied under Maurice Sons, a pupil of Wieniawski and leader of the Queens Hall Orchestra and came to model his his playing on that of Fritz Kreisler.

Between 1932 and 1936 he led the Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow under Sir John Barbirolli, then was asked by Sir Thomas Beecham to lead the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He led several top orchestras under conductors like Beecham, Bush, Klemperer, Sargent, and Toscanini but he also worked extensively as a freelance and on radio and television. By 1952 McCallum led the London Symphony Orchestra and he joined Mantovani in 1961 as leader of his orchestra on its international tours.

Here he is giving actress Romy Schneider a fiddle lesson:


He was the father of the well known actor David McCallum Jnr.:


DAVID MCCALLUM in Violin Solos
DAVID MCCALLUM , who is Principal First Violin in the Scottish Orchestra, studied in Glasgow with the famous Verbrugghen and then at the Royal College of Music with Maurice Sons. He made his first public appearance at the ace of nine in Bonnybridge Town Hall. A cab met him at the station and drove him in state to the hall, where, after a heavy meal of pies it was discovered that he had left his fiddle and music in the train. After considerable anxiety the instrument was returned later in the evening on the same train on its return journey and he was able to appear before the concert ended.
Scottish Children’s Hour BBC Radio Times, 25 April 1934 

The Bonnie Lass o’ Bon Accord / The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre / The £10 Fiddle

From Parlophone 78 rpm record E3429 matrix 1533. Recorded London September 1927.

The £10 Fiddle (slow)

Slowed down to 125% length of the original (above) for learning and study purposes. Compare this with the versions played by composer/fiddler James Scott Skinner.

Cam’ Ye By Athol? / Cock o’ The North, March

From Parlophone 78 rpm record E3429 matrix 1544. Recorded London September 1927.

Inverness Gathering (march) / Deil amang the tailors (reel) / East Neuk of Fife (reel)

From 78 rpm record Broadcast S-6 matrix z 309. Recorded London January 1928.

Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond / Inveraray Castle / Flowers of Edinburgh

From 78 rpm record Parlophone E-3433 WE-1537-1. Recorded London September 1927.

Bonny Lass o’ Ballochmyle / Ye Banks and Braes

From 78 rpm record Parlophone E-3433 matrix WE-1545-1. Recorded London September 1927.

Flowers of the Forest / Mrs McLeod

From 78 rpm disk Broadcast S.7-A matrix z16. Piano by George Short. Recorded London January 1928.

Highland Wedding / Drunken Piper / Highland Whisky

From 78 rpm disk Parlophone E3435 matrix E 1547. Recorded London September 1927.

Auld Robin Gray

From 78 rpm disk Broadcast S.6-B matrix z310. Recorded London January 1928.

Piper o’ Dundee / Marquis of Huntly’s Farewell / Highland Whisky / High Level Hornpipe

From 78 rpm disk Broadcast S.7-B matrix z17. Piano George Short. Recorded London January 1928.

Barren Rocks of Aden / Marquis of Huntly’s Farewell / Mrs McLeod

From 78 rpm disk Parlophone E3435 matrix E 1548-2. Recorded London September 1927.