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, 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. 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 disc, '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.
This artistic rehabilitation of previously-unknown high-quality gems from 18th century Ireland 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.
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).