Musical excellence in an informal friendly atmosphere

19th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music

The 19th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music has no very clearly discernible theme or focus, but it does have performers and programmes that should stir all but the most Philistine to get our their diaries and note the Swiss Baroque violinist Maya Homburger has a strong and very enthusiastic following in Ireland, not least in Sligo where she has performed music in a way that it remains somehow fresh in the imagination years after the performance. Her programme of nine of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Mystery Sonatas which she will perform with Sarah McMahon (cello) and Malcolm Proud (harpsichord) are bound to be a highlight of the Festival.

Violinists and harpsichordists come close to being the focus of this year’s festival. Monica Huggett, another internationally acclaimed baroque violinist appears with the Irish Baroque Orchestra in a programme a programme of Myslivicek, Vanhal and Benda – Bohemian composers whose music will surely delight. Originally from Finland, violinst Marja Gaynor has become a central character in baroque music-making in Ireland, including as Artistic Director of East Cork Early Music Festival. Marja is involved in three concerts during Sligo festival.

We are really delighted that violinist Therese Timoney will be mentoring the Festival Orchestra and performing with them for the final concert. Her orchestral experience is immense and immensely valuable, including having been leader of both the Irish Chamber Orchestra and RTC Concert Orchestra as well as considerable performing experience in period performance with ensembles as The Hanover Band. Therese also worked with and directed the newly formed Christ Church Baroque Orchestra – later to become the IBO.

And harpsichordists this year include Malcolm Proud (we did manage one festival without him, but it is so much better with him!), Colin Booth (not just an impressive harpsichordist but also a much admired harpsichord-maker) and American harpsichordist Yonit Kosovske who has been part of the World Academy of Music and Dance faculty in Limerick since 2011.

Full details of our programme and performers will be up on the website with in a couple of weeks. Eight performances, workshops and masterclasses. And more. Come for the weekend, for real excellence in musical performance, but also for the chance to discover more of the wonderful music of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, to make new friends, to talk with performers over a cup of coffee – and perhaps even to slip away for a couple of hours while you walk up Knocknarea…

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