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Deadline for applications: 5pm, Friday 25th February 2022

From 2023 the Irish Baroque Orchestra will create a new position of Principal Leader for an initial period of three years, subject to review and renewal. This is a strategic development in line with IBO's recently-announced Strategic Plan, Reimagining Our Culture, introduced by the Board of IBO in 2021. To align with this strategic development, the IBO has undertaken an organisational review and consolidated its membership base.

As a respected player in the field of historical performance you will have a profile both in Ireland and abroad, which will support the organisation’s goal of international development. Participation in projects as a guest Director may be offered.

The goal of all at the IBO is to drive the company’s development and share in a vision of long-term sustainable success.

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As Principal Leader of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, you are asked to work alongside the players of the IBO, the Associate Leader and the Artistic Director to ensure that the orchestra’s high artistic standards are met. You will work closely with the AD (and guest directors as required), supporting their vision through both verbal and musical communication, and taking responsibility for raising points requiring further discussion or rehearsal where appropriate. The standard of your playing as leader will set the bar for the standards of the orchestra as a whole. 



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.


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).


Role Description

The Principal Leader will:

  • Take responsibility for the cultivation of the IBO string sound

  • Take responsibility for the violin fixing lists, in conjunction with the Associate Leader and AD or CEO (in instances where a Guest Director is engaged).

  • Engage with Artistic Committee and Board meetings as required. 

  • Support the outward-looking culture of the IBO, attracting the best players from the period instrument world. 

  • Leading and motivating players to advance their engagement and develop a high performing team

  • Evaluate player contributions on a regular basis, in conjunction with the CEO, to ensure that high standards are consistently upheld. 

  • Provide feedback to the CEO where required to ensure that all IBO projects are undertaken in a professional environment and in line with company policies. 

  • Undertake any other tasks relevant to the role of Principal Leader.


Person Specification

To thrive as Principal Leader you must be a an exemplary musician and a strong communicator. Empathy and diplomacy are key skills, along with the vision to consistently look critically at the standards of the orchestra and work collaboratively to deliver improvement where possible. You may need to lead section rehearsals where required, and support the young players participating in the IBO’s Apprentice Scheme, through collaboration with the CEO. 


Terms of Appointment

  • Three-year agreement, subject to review and renewal. 

  • Engagement with the IBO will be on a freelance basis, with remuneration to be paid per project at the ‘Leader’ rate on the IBO rate card, in line with industry norms. A copy of this rate card can be made available on request. 

  • Line Managers: Artistic Director & CEO

  • Key relationships: Associate Leader and the wider IBO membership

Application Process

To apply for the Principal Leader role please send your CV and covering letter to by 5pm on Friday 25th February, with the subject line ‘Principal Leader Application’. Your letter should not exceed two sides of A4. Please refer closely to the role description and person specification, using your letter to demonstrate your suitability for the position. Please include your contact details, names and contact details of two referees (we will not request references without discussing this with you) and how you heard about this position. 


We will create a shortlist of candidates to invite to trial with the IBO by Friday 11th March,  and expect to be in a position to indicate the outcome of all expressions of interest to applicants on or before this date. 

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