Founded by the Irish international harpsichordist and organist Malcolm Proud and the Swiss violinist Maya Homburger, Camerata Kilkenny is a period instrument group specialising in the performance of Baroque music. Many of its programmes combine 17th and 18th century music with the works of contemporary composers. It consists of artists from Ireland with guest renowned artists from further afield - Lenneke Ruiten, Wilbert Hazelzet (the Netherlands), Thomas Demenga (Switzerland), Calmus Ensemble Leipzig.
Camerata Kilkenny gave its début recital at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August 1999. In October that year it performed a programme of Baroque music and compositions by Barry Guy and Roger Marsh in ‘Now and Then’, the highly acclaimed series at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. In celebration of Barry Guy's 60th birthday in 2007, Camerata Kilkenny with Dutch soprano Lenneke Ruiten performed a programme of J.S. Bach's cantatas (Weichet nur; Jauchzet Gott) and compositions by Barry Guy (Ceremony, Inachis) in Kilkenny.
Since then Camerata Kilkenny has performed in Switzerland (Zürich, Bern), Austria, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and in Ireland at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, the Sligo Festival of Baroque Music, the Festival of Great Irish Houses, the Galway Early Music Festival, the East Cork Early Music Festival 'Music in the Mosaics' in Timoleague, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Hugh Lane Gallery and at the Barrow River Arts Festival.
In April 2010, Camerata Kilkenny and Wilbert Hazelzet took part in the CC Maasmechelen Festival in Belgium following which they recorded (with funding from the Music Network/Irish Arts Council Music Recording Scheme) J.S. Bach's Musical Offering (BWV 1079). It was released on the Maya Recordings label in January 2011 and has received excellent reviews throughout Ireland, Europe and North America. Their first CD of Biber's Mystery Sonatas with violinist Maya Homburger was listed in the prestigious German music industry ‘Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik’ awards in 2007.
Appearances in 2011 included concerts at the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Castleconnel Chamber Music Series Limerick, at the CC Maasmechelan Festival in Belgium and the Maya Recordings Festival in Winterthur, Switzerland. In March 2012 Camerata Kilkenny performed a programme of J.S. Bach at the Barrow River Arts Festival followed by a tour to Amsterdam, Paris and Leuven (Belgium). In May 2013 they joined forces with the Calmus Ensemble Leipzig for concerts in Kilkenny and Dublin as part of the cultural programme in honour of Ireland's Presidency of the E.U. Council of Ministers. In Autumn 2013 they toured Switzerland performing in Sils Maria and Stammheim. In Spring of 2014 they again performed with the Calmus Ensemble Leipzig in Switzerland, CC Maasmechelan, Belgium and at the Barrow River Arts Festival and in the Autumn 2014 they toured a programme of J.S. Bach around Ireland with soprano German Anja Pöche-Lipfert and flautist Rachel Beckett.
"Camerata Kilkenny gave the impression that time is to be treasured, not to be rushed, that the music was somehow to be dwelt in, not pressured, and who’s to argue when the music is by Bach? Anja Lipfert Pöche……. is a real star." - Irish Times review of Calmus Ensemble Leipzig/Camerata Kilkenny concert at Hugh Lane Gallery (May 2013)
"Listeners foresaw this would be a great one and packed the Hugh Lane Gallery until, alas, no more could be admitted. Bach, period instruments, excellent players ….. and incredible music. - Irish Times review of concert at Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (2011)
"Lovely performances from Camerata Kilkenny" - Review of Musical Offering CD on BBC Radio 3