The Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra is a new collaboration between the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras supported by the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

claire-duffI am very excited to be the Artistic Director of IYBO and am very much looking forward to our first gathering in July 2017. Ireland is full of incredibly talented young musicians and IYBO will bring together the top young musicians in the country who share a particular passion for baroque music and period instrument performance. Together we will explore this wonderful repertoire and discover how rewarding it is to approach the music from a historically informed perspective and how satisfying it is to express oneself through the instruments of the period.

This venture will play a vital role in Ireland’s music education and will help to secure Ireland’s future as a dynamic and impassioned exponent of period performance.

There is a vital need in Ireland to bridge the gap between music students who are curious about period performance and the extremely high internationally competitive standard that is required for entry into such ensembles as the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny. At present in Ireland, aspiring baroque specialists need to study abroad to gain adequate training and experience, and ensembles such as IBO and CK have to recruit musicians from abroad in order to maintain their high standard and profile.

However, we are now facing a new reality. With collaboration between the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, and with strong support from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, which is currently developing its own historical performance department, the young musicians of today and tomorrow will have in the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra a highly-professional and inspiring training ground. While historical performance practice used to be a very specialised field, now all aspiring professional classical musicians are required to have an awareness of different performing styles. The IYBO will help develop stylistic awareness among Ireland’s finest young musicians and will inspire them to think afresh and to express themselves in their own unique and creative ways.

Claire Duff
Artistic Director
Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra