Irish Baroque Orchestra
The Irish Baroque Orchestra is acclaimed as Ireland’s flagship period music ensemble and delivers historically-informed performances to the highest standards across Ireland and abroad. Under the artistic direction of Peter Whelan, scholarship and musical excellence converge in a unique way through the IBO’s work. This creates an original offering like no other organisation on the Irish classical music scene. Through this integration of research and practice the very idea of an orchestra is defined afresh, providing an unusual and enriching experience for today’s audiences.
As an ambassador for the stories of Ireland’s musical past, the IBO uses its unique perspective to develop the growing store of knowledge surrounding the very early days of Baroque and Classical music in Ireland. The IBO’s research, recordings and performances offer the people of Ireland a new opportunity to reevaluate and reclaim their cultural heritage, while also engaging the Irish diaspora through the increasing global reach of this work. Even Handel’s Messiah – an annual touring highlight in the IBO calendar – is a rekindled link to Dublin’s cultural life in 1742.
In 2019 the orchestra released ‘Welcome Home Mr Dubourg’ on Linn Records, which was profiled in the Irish Times and on BBC Radio 3 and met with positive reviews across Europe. The second album, ‘The Trials of Tenducci’ featuring Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, came out in March 2021 and went straight to the top of the iTunes classical chart in Ireland upon its release. It has enjoyed critical acclaim world-wide, receiving notable praise from Gramophone Magazine, France Musique & BR Klassik. In February 2022 the IBO made its debut to critical acclaim at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London with Vivaldi’s ‘Bajazet’, a co-production from Irish National Opera and the Royal Opera House.
The IBO is committed to developing the scene for historically-informed performance in Ireland, and works with a number of partner organisations across the country to ensure its continued growth for future generations. The Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra gives students the opportunity to work intensively on elements of period style, and IBO’s Apprentice Scheme supports students as they take their first steps into the profession. An annual side-by-side scheme with the Royal Irish Academy of Music is a crucial, recent development in the IBO’s educational portfolio, as is a new Baroque Strings class aimed at amateur adult string players.
The Irish Baroque Orchestra is generously funded by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. It also receives financial support from Dublin City Council and Culture Ireland. The orchestra has its own collection of period instruments, purchased with the assistance of an Arts Council capital grant and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The IBO is resident at the National Concert Hall, Dublin and as of 2021 is an ensemble member of the Réseau Européen de Musique Ancienne (European Early Music Network).
Irish Association of Youth Orchestras
The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras is the national support and resource organisation for youth orchestras in Ireland.
Membership of the Association is open to all Youth Orchestras in Ireland, whether linked to a school, a school of music, a college or university, or to an independent or community-based organisation.
IAYO represents over 5,000 young musicians in 108 youth orchestras in Ireland and assists in the development of youth orchestras in all parts of the country.
The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras will promote interest in and foster the development of Youth Orchestras by the following means
- Encouraging co-operation between all organisations and groups involved in the development of Youth Orchestras.
- Creating a network for advice and information in relation to Youth Orchestras.
- Fostering excellence in the Youth Orchestra movement by facilitating training courses for Conductors, Teachers, and Students, access to libraries of music and sharing of unusual instruments, and by offering performance opportunities.
- Acting as a forum with an All Ireland and International dimension for all those involved in Youth Orchestras.
- Presenting excellence in the Youth Orchestra movement to a wider public through Youth Orchestra Festivals.
The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras was set up in Ennis in April 1994. It was incorporated as IAYO Ltd. in 1998, and became a registered charity in 2001. IAYO is a voluntary, non-profit-making Association, and a registered charity, supported by members fees and the generous donations of friends.
IAYO is grant-aided by The Arts Council and supported by Cork City Council. IAYO acknowledges the support of The Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, The Arts Council and Music Network through the Music Capital Scheme 2010.
IAYO is a member of the European Orchestra Federation, The National Campaign for the Arts, the National Youth Council of Ireland, Volunteering Ireland and The Wheel.
Royal Irish Academy of Music
The Royal Irish Academy of Music is a home of musical excellence and dynamism, a place of teaching and learning which consistently achieves its objective of transmitting and maintaining the highest standards of performance and appreciation in all musical disciplines. Founded in 1848 the Academy is Ireland’s oldest musical institution.
As a national thirty-two county institution, the Academy embodies and reflects the traditions and heritage of Irish musicianship. The Teaching Staff includes many international and national prizewinners, members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and many individuals whose names have become synonymous with music education in Ireland.
With the resources of such talents at its disposal, it is no wonder that the Academy’s students have been accepted for further study at the most prestigious music institutions around the world from the Juilliard School in New York to the Royal Academy of Music in London. Today, with recently established higher education courses, the Academy is in turn able to offer the finest Irish musical training to students from all corners of the world.
Homepage violin photo courtesy of Frances Marshall Photography.