Cork Baroque Orchestra: a fresh new venture!

September 19th, 2013

We’ve had our fair share of exciting collaborations, new ventures and special performances over the last ten festivals.  This year is no exception, as we introduce our brand-spanking-new Orchestra in Residence, Cork Baroque Orchestra.

Cork Baroque Orchestra was dreamt up by cellist Eimear Reidy and violinist Marja Gaynor in response to the growing interest in historically inspired performance of orchestral music in Ireland. It will provide an opportunity for Irish and Irish-based musicians to work with the world’s leading Early Music specialists in a high-level, professional orchestra.

The Early Music movement, which began in the 1960′s, has by now emerged from the margins and entered the mainstream. These days, classical music students are at least aware of historical styles and instruments – and most 3rd level music institutes offer tuition in historically informed performance practice.

Borders are blurring: Baroque orchestras collaborate with “modern” soloists and conductors, symphony orchestras experiment with historical bows and are conducted by period specialists. Newly discovered, unknown and forgotten old works are performed along with the ageless masterworks, and new music is written for the versatile and different sonorities of the old instruments.

Apart from the truly excellent Irish Baroque Orchestra, opportunities for young musicians in Ireland to play professionally on period instruments, and to experience the joys of performing in a baroque orchestra, are rare. CBO answers this need for professionals and students passionate about Early Music to experience it first-hand in a professional setting, and will do its best to raise the profile and level of historically inspired performance in Ireland.

Cork Baroque Orchestra will be the resident orchestra of East Cork Early Music Festival, held every October in Cork City and County, and will invite an outstanding internationally renowned guest conductor/leader each year. We also aim to organise smaller concerts around Christmas and/or Easter time. To start with, we will concentrate on the 17th and 18th century orchestral music (its big hits and hidden curiosities alike) – but future plans involve big choral works, opera, new commissions from young composers… We will keep you posted!

We hope to see you at our CBO début concert in the Curtis Auditorium, Cork School of Music, Friday October 11th at 8pm. [For more details of this, see the concert's event page.]

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