Giles Lewin is a British violinist and bagpiper.
He was born in Essex in 1960 or slightly earlier. Aged nine, he sang the female lead in Mozart's "Bastien et Bastienne". At Cambridge University he acquired a love of Irish traditional music. His admiration for William Lawes led him to join a group called The Medieval Players (1981–1987). In 1983 they performed Rabelais's "Gargantua" with actors, puppets and acrobats. Their version of medieval music was gutsy, compared to most early music consorts of the time. In 1987 he became a founder member of the Dufay Collective. He was also a member of the group "Afterhours" (1989–1995).
In 1989 Lewin spent several months in Cairo to study Arabic violin under Ashraf al Sarki. Lewin is a vocalist and plays fiddle, vielle, rebec, gittern, shawms, recorder, mandolin, pipe and tabor. His most remarkable skills are as a player of the Arabic violin and as a player of the single-drone medieval bagpipes.
The Carnival Band evolved out of The Medieval Players. The combination of Giles Lewin, Andy Watts, Bill Badley and Jub dates from 1985. They have recorded as a backing band for Maddy Prior. Lewin joined up with Vivien Ellis, another member of the Dufay Collective and the Carnival Band to become the duo Alva in 1997, specialising in the music of the troubadours. The songs on "The Bells of Paradise" were first performed at the 2003 York Early Music Festival. Alva also performed at St John's, Smith Square in 2001 as part of a live performance for BBC's "Late Junction".
In 2004 Lewin became a founder member of Bellowhead and left in late 2007. In 2008 he accompanied Maddy Prior at the BBC Electric Proms, and released a solo album The Armchair Orienteer (PRKCD103). He is currently based in Oxford.