Irish Baroque Orchestra – excellence in authentic period performance
The Irish Baroque Orchestra is acclaimed as Ireland's flagship period music ensemble and delivers historically-informed performances to the highest standards at home and abroad. Under the artistic direction of Peter Whelan, each member of the orchestra continuously seeks to explore the playing techniques and performance styles of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and performs only on baroque instruments or modern replicas. The result is as vivid as a freshly restored oil painting: the colour, simmering tension, and highly charged emotion of this incredible music bursts to the surface, carrying the listener back 300 years to the fascinating sights and sounds of 18th Century Europe.
The IBO's championing of previously-unknown high-quality gems from 18th century Ireland reveals music of exceptional quality. This artistic rehabilitation prompts deeper reflections on our social, political and cultural history. Now internationally-regarded, IBO is changing the way that we listen to music of the 17th and 18th centuries in Ireland. 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, as the first in a series of five releases with Peter Whelan at the helm. The disc has been profiled in the Irish Times and on BBC Radio 3 and has met with positive reviews across Europe. This is the first in a series seeking to tell the rich stories of Ireland's Baroque era.
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 some years back 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 Autumn 2019, is a partnership organisation of the National Gallery of Ireland.