MNZM                            TEACHER  FIDDLER  VIOLINIST  CONDUCTOR  COMPOSER                                                                                                    

Rave Reviews

Glenfield Library January 2020

Glenfield Library hosted Marian as their entertainer for our finale celebration party of 'Kia Maia the Whai' : summer reading programme for children 5 - 12 years old.

As we support community engagement, our invitation extended to our local community. We wanted to share such a wonderful performer with them.  We were glad we did.  185 adults and children rolled up for this performance in the children's area of our library. 

With Marian's Ukulele students we made one heck of a racket, laughing, singing, and playing instruments with so much enthusiasm the local board members came in to with.  It was purely magical. Marian's music mayhem flowed around the library drawing everyone in to watch.  

Interactive songs with worm sock puppets, hand teeth images, even granny's and children hula hooping.  Who would have thought so much learning in such a fun way could happen in a public library.  Pirates with eye patches sang songs in a room where bubbles and bubbles, bazillions of bubbles were escaping everywhere.

My grand children travelled up from Te Mata and were in awe of this event.  Fascinated by Marian sharing her selection of violins with us, even playing the while the little kids held them.  At every opportunity the children were interactively involved.  How hands-on and wonderful this was.

I would like to fully endorse Marian as a Entertainer for both children and adults.  She captivates you with her energy, skills and love of music.  What a talented lady we have in New Zealand.  How lucky are we!!


Andrea Nixon 

Senior Librarian - Children's and Youth Services |RLIANZA

Glenfield | Auckland Libraries Ngā Whare Mātauranga o Tāmaki Makaurau

Ph 09  486 8555 | DD 486 8585 8387

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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.

Mark Mitchell
Chairman Golden Fiddle Awards Ltd 2013

Waipu Celtic Festival January 2009 

Hi Marian 
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

Charles Nolan.

Wanganui Chronicle:  April 2008

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 match.
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 hours.
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 The Roof.

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 stage."

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."