An Introduction to the IBO Apprentices Programme


Are you studying a baroque string instrument at the moment and wondering if a career in historical performance is right for you? 


The space between completing one’s studies and entering a profession can be a difficult one to navigate. The IBO Apprentices programme was established in 2020 to give talented musicians at the start of their careers the opportunity to experience professional level historically-informed performance, along with lessons and mentoring from established professionals. The notion of learning a craft from experienced hands is an ancient one, and the immersive experience in historical performance offered by the IBO Apprentice Scheme is the first of its kind in Ireland. 


We are looking for exceptional string players who are completing, or have recently completed, third-level study with some element of historical performance training. This may be on a second study instrument, or through experience gained with the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra. We want to work with you to support your growth and development, and help you to get the most from your year as an IBO Apprentice. 

“This Apprenticeship scheme is invaluable as it provides young musicians with the professional support and training that will equip them for the professional world in a way that third level education perhaps cannot. My time as an IBO Apprentice has been really worthwhile as it has given me the opportunity to be immersed in this fast-paced working environment alongside some of the most talented musicians, who were always a source of encouragement and inspiration.”


Rachael Masterson, Violin, IBO Apprentice 2020-2021


Summary of the Apprentice Year 

The Apprentice pathway comprises the following opportunities:

  • Participation in two projects with the IBO in 2022, under the directorship of Peter Whelan.

  • Involvement with the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra, in a principal seat. 

  • Mentoring and lessons with experienced professionals. 

  • The chance to develop your skills in historically-informed performance in a supportive professional environment. 

  • Instrument loan where possible. 

  • Access to the IBO music library. 


How to Apply

The IBO Apprentice Scheme is open to players of violin, viola, cello and double bass based on the island of Ireland. To apply please send the following to info@irishbaroqueorchestra.com by 5pm on February 4th 2022 stating ‘IBO Apprentice Application’ as the email subject:

  • A covering letter outlining why you are interested in the scheme and what you hope to gain from participation

  • A CV

  • Video or audio footage of yourself playing two contrasting unaccompanied movements of works by Bach. 


Please note that late applications will not be considered. We aim to inform all applicants of the outcome of their submission on or before February 18th 2022


Images: 2020/2021 Apprentices Rachael Masterson (violin), Martha Campbell (viola) and Alex Felle (double bass) in rehearsal with IBO's Artistic Director Peter Whelan and Leader Claire Duff. 


We recognise that musicians develop their careers at different stages in their lives. Therefore there is no formal age limit for the Apprentice scheme, but we expect that all applicants will either currently be engaging in third-level study, or will have completed third-level study within the last year. 


Use of a baroque instrument and bow is desirable, but is not a prerequisite. A baroque bow and modern instrument would also be a possibility, as would a modern instrument and modern bow. If access to recording or filming equipment is a barrier to applying then please contact info@irishbaroqueorchestra.com to discuss how we can meet your needs. 

We welcome applications from musicians based on the island of Ireland, or Irish citizens living abroad. However we cannot guarantee to cover travel expenses for successful applicants travelling from outside of Ireland to participate in Apprentice projects. 


The IBO Apprentice Scheme in 2022 is generously supported by Arts Council Ireland.