Artistic Staff

Below are the Artistic Staff for 2021.

Claire Duff, Director


Internationally renowned baroque violinist, Claire Duff is in demand as soloist, chamber musician, leader and director. Her ‘stylish solo violin playing’ (Gramophone) has been described as having ‘all the excitement of a high-wire act’ (The Irish Times). In 2016 she was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM), for her significant contribution to the music profession.

Claire is leader of the Irish Baroque Orchestra with which she regularly performs as soloist and often as director, to critical acclaim. She has led Florilegium, I Fagiolini, English Touring Opera, The Kings Consort and Camerata Kilkenny and co-led the Academy of Ancient Music and The English Concert. Claire has an extensive discography, including a highly acclaimed CD of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Monica Huggett and IBO. She is passionate about baroque music and is a fervent exponent of period instrument performance. She is Artistic Director of the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra and teacher of baroque violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Claire often has solo works composed for her and this year she performed a Jane O’Leary Fantasia as part of a Music Network Bach recital tour with the award-winning French harpsichordist, Benjamin Alard, and a piece for modern and baroque violin composed by Sam Perkins and performed with Diane Hunka as part of the Killaloe Chamber Music Festival.

Malcolm Proud, Continuo (Harpsichord)

Malcolm Proud won first prize at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982. He has performed at all the major Irish festivals and has toured Finland, Denmark, Holland, UK, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, USA., Japan, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Belgium, Austria and Portugal. In 2016 he gave harpsichord recitals at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, at Fenton House in London playing the Queen’s 1612 Ruckers, at the Cobbe Collection of Historical Keyboard Instruments in Hatchlands, Surrey, and at Handel House in London.

Organist of St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny, his CD of Bach’s Clavierübung III recorded on the Metzler Organ at Stein am Rhein in Switzerland was released in 2008 on the Maya Recordings label.

In 2010 Malcolm Proud played all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists at the London Proms and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. He is co-founder with Swiss violinist Maya Homburger of Camerata Kilkenny and has performed concertos with the Academy of Ancient Music and the European Union Baroque Orchestra.

He has recorded Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto with both the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the English Baroque Soloists. His most recent recording – J.S. Bach’s Six Partitas for Harpsichord on the Maya Recordings Label – has been critically acclaimed.

Malcolm Proud is supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by the Arts Council.

Sarah McMahon, Cello

Irish cellist Sarah enjoys a busy career as principal cellist with the Academy of Ancient Music, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Marsyas and Camerata Kilkenny. She has often appeared as soloist with these ensembles, collaborating closely with Peter Whelan, Malcolm Proud, Monica Huggett, Maya Homburger and Richard Egarr amongst others. She is also regularly invited to play as guest principal cello with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dunedin Consort, Arcangelo, Florilegium, the English Concert, the Sixteen, the Aurora Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Sarah is a passionate chamber musician. As a founding member of the Callino String Quartet, she has toured widely, commissioning numerous compositions, and collaborating with diverse artists such as Edgar Meyer, Arvo Pärt, Gyorgy Kurtàg, Ailish Tynan, John Abercrombie and the Kronos Quartet. Their recent recording for Coro of The Seven Last Words by Haydn has met with critical acclaim and their collaboration with Canadian filmmaker Kaveh Nabatian, performing a live score of this work, was premiered at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam and has toured internationally at festivals in Montreal, Buenos Aires, Bilbao, Edinburgh and Moscow.

Sarah performs annually at the Oregon Bach Festival and is a member of the faculty of Berwick Academy. She gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council of Ireland and Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Andreas Helm

As oboist and recorder player Andreas Helm is a permanent member of the Capella Leopldina, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the Baroque Soloists Munich, the Gaechinger Cantorey and the Ensemble Cordia. He also collaborates with the Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Köln, Concentus Musicus Wien, Musiciens du Louvre and others. He is also a founding member of the Rossi Piceno Baroque Ensemble and the Ensemble Schikaneders Jugend, which brings Alpine musician manuscripts from the 18th century to life again. For the 2001 and 2002/03 seasons he was invited by the European Union Baroque Orchestra as first oboist and recorder soloist. Together with the conductor Heinz Ferlesch he founded the Originalklangorchester and Consort Barucco, with whom he regularly performs at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Linzer Brucknerhaus.

As a chamber musician and soloist, he has already won prizes at numerous competitions (including Gradus ad Parnassum and Premio Bonporti). Concert tours have taken him to many European countries and to China, Japan, Mexico, USA, Canada, Singapore and South Africa.

In a leading position, Andreas Helm appears regularly on various occasions, from the oboe he has led Barucco, the Hrvatski Barokni Ansambal, the Norwegian Wind Band, the Cork Baroque Orchestra as well as large baroque wind projects (Music for the Royal Fireworks) of the Austrian music universities.

Recordings include with CPO, Sony, harmonia mundi, Capriccio, Cavalli, ORF, Carus and others. Recent oboe concertos by Vivaldi and Zach with the Baroque Soloists Munich and by Heinichen with the Irish Baroque Orchestra was released.

Andreas Helm is professor for historical oboe instruments at the Music and Art Private University of the City of Vienna and held this position at the Graz University of Art 2014-2019. He also teaches at numerous guest courses and master classes. /

Mary Collins, Early Dance

Mary Collins is an Early Dance specialist whose research and teaching approach has inspired musicians to look afresh at the dance music that is at the heart of the baroque repertoire bringing, in turn, a fresh perspective on the great composers of the baroque era. A practitioner and researcher, she has worked with dance, theatre and TV companies as an adviser, choreographer, dancer and actress and tours regularly giving master-classes, lecture-recitals and workshops. A faculty member of Aestas Musica in Croatia, the Austria Barokakademie and, for 26 years, The Ringve International Summer Course in Norway, she regularly collaborates with many of the world’s leading exponents of early music.

Reviving original choreography and gesture for historical performance, Mary promotes a vibrant, multi-disciplinary approach to music making, valued by artists and audiences alike.

A practitioner and researcher, she performs regularly with the London Handel Players and Florilegium, giving master classes, lecture-recitals and workshops to dancers and musicians throughout the world. Mary teaches at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music in London, also as a guest at the University of Birmingham. She is often invited to work with orchestras, most recently the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Southbank Sinfonia.