Dublin’s Virtuosi

Programme Notes


Irish Baroque Orchestra,
Directed by Peter Whelan

Saturday, February 24th | St Ann’s Church Dawson St | 5pm

Tickets: €25 (adult), €20 (concession), €10 (student) & €5 (children)


We open our 2018 Concert Season with new Artistic Director, Peter Whelan, and Dublin’s Virtuosi. This programme sets up a key strand of IBO’s artistic mission to celebrate, and reconnect, with the music and musicians from Ireland’s past.

Our programme explores the lives and music of the virtuoso violinists who made Georgian Dublin their home. The most famous of these was Francesco Geminiani who sold works of art, performed concerts and gave violin lessons at his ‘Great Room’ off Dame Street. His teaching fostered an exception level of string playing in the capital – in particular his child prodigy students, Matthew Dubourg and Jackie Clegg who both ended up playing for the Irish State Music band at Dublin Castle and in Handel’s orchestra in London.

Dubourg was a hugely popular figure in Georgian Dublin – He is credited with having introduced Vivaldi’s music to Ireland and many of his own compositions have only recently come to light. They display an eclectic mix of styles, including stately Court Odes and dances written for royal celebrations and at Dublin Castle, arrangements of Irish traditional melodies and manically virtuosic violin solos in the fashionable Italian style.

Dublin also enticed other celebrity Italian violinists (and cellists in the case of Bocchi) for shorter periods of time including the unfortunate Pietro Castrucci who found his way to Dublin having been replaced as leader of Handel’s orchestra by young Irish upstart, Jackie Clegg following a humiliating public test of skill. Pasquali frequently dazzled Irish theatre audiences with his playing and composed a brilliant Overture for the opening of the ‘Gran Festino’ room at the Aungier Street theatre in 1748.

(Cover Image: IBO Artist, Claire Duff- violin. Image by Sarah Doyle Photography, 2017)

Proudly supported by:



Peter WhelanDirector

Concert Dates and Venues

24 February 2018, St Ann's Church , Dawson St


Pasquali: Ouverture in the Gran Festino
Corelli: Christmas Concerto, Op. 6 No. 8
Viner: Sonata for Violin, Sonata 6
Bocchi: Sonata for Cello, Sonata 10
Dubourg: 'Ciste Nó Stór'
Dubourg: 'Dubourg's Maggott'
Castrucci: Concerto Grosso, Op. 3, No. 12
Handel: Concerto Grosso, 'Alexander's Feast'
Vivaldi: L'Estro Armonico, Op. 3, No. 10
Geminiani:: Concerto Grosso, La Folia, Op. 5 no. 12