The Irish Baroque Orchestra (= IBO) is an early music ensemble based in the Republic of Ireland. The IBO is Irelandís only professional period instrument orchestra. It was established in 1996 by Mark Duley and Thérèse Timoney. For ten years Mark Duley was also Artistic Director of the IBO, and over this period ensured its establishment as Irelandís flagship Baroque ensemble. The IBO is like no other group performing in Ireland today. Driven by the belief that the best things in life stand the test of time, the orchestra allows Irish audiences to experience the beauty of Baroque music as it was intended to be heard.
The Artistic Director is currently Monica Huggett. Under her inspirational artistic direction, each member of the orchestra continuously seeks to explore the playing techniques and performance styles of the 17th and 18th centuries, and performs only on Baroque instruments or modern replicas. The result is as vivid as a freshly restored oil painting: the colour, simmering tension, and highly charged emotion of this incredible music bursts to the surface, carrying the listener back 300 years to the sights and sounds of 18th Century Europe.
Although the IBO has its roots in the past, it is a dynamic and constantly evolving organization with its sights firmly set on the future. The orchestra presents four seasons of concerts annually along with a number of one off events (over 20 concerts a year). Each season includes a week of education, in conjunction with the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Conservatory of Music and Drama. It performs across around Ireland and abroad, and continue to receive widespread critical acclaim. The IBO has taken residency at the Ardee Baroque Festival each November in Ardee, County Louth. In 2009 the orchestra performed in the Dublin Handel Festival.
The IBO seeks to keep the tradition of Baroque music alive for future generations, and so education and recording initiatives are a vital aspect of its work. The orchestra has been an ensemble in residence at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama since January 2008, and regularly works with DIT students on Baroque repertoire and playing techniques. 'Flights of Fantasy', a recording of early Italian chamber music was released in September 010 on the Avie label, to international acclaim, with the New Yorker listing the disc as one of the top recordings of 2010.
The IBO is generously funded by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. It also receives financial support from Dublin City Council. The orchestra has its own collection of period instruments, purchased with the assistance of an Arts Council capital grant and the Department of Tourism. Culture and Sport.