Sligo Baroque Orchestra

Sligo Ireland

+353 (0)71 9854122

Welcome to the Sligo Baroque Orchestra website. Please take the time to look around and find out a bit about us. Check out our news section for any upcoming concerts.​

​Sligo Baroque Orchestra began life as Sligo Early Music Ensemble in 1990 at a time when classical instrumental music in Sligo was almost non-existent.

Its aim was playing music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in a historically informed manner and for twenty years it has maintained that goal, meeting for weekly rehearsals, exploring hundreds of baroque compositions, holding workshops and giving more than a hundred performances in Sligo and the North West.

The orchestra is markedly inclusive, involving much sought-after professional musicians as well as amateur and student instrumentalists, and involving members from very different musical backgrounds.

The sbo has been joined by eminent soloists including cellist Stephan Forck, viola player Stefan Fehlandt, flautist Eleanor Dawson, gamba player Sarah Groser and violinists Niamh Crowley and Nicola Cleary.

Musical Treasure

It’s a bit of a secret, but you almost certainly will enjoy the concert on December 1st ...

Hidden Gems in the foyer of the Hawk’s Well Theatre

Sligo Baroque Orchestra (leader, Nicola Cleary) will unearth some musical treasures from the Eighteenth Century

Thursday 1st December at 8pm in the Foyer, Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo

Admission €10   children free


Informal Music Afternoon Sunday May 1st 2016

in The Model, The Mall, Sligo at 1pm admission €5 children go free

Guest artists from Sligo International Chamber Music Festival, The Vogler String Quartet,

Aoife Ni Briain , Calmin Gilmore and the Mesefe String Quartet will form part of the line-up for this special Informal Music Afternoon, along with Felip Carbonell and Sligo Baroque Orchestra.
It is an essential characteristic of Sligo's monthly IMAs that there is always an eclectic mix of music from different genres; and that all who attend will discover music and musicians that are new for them. IMAs are very informal, very relaxed, but are also very stimulating. And they importantly provide a platform for young, emerging performers.
A centre piece of the programme will be a performance of Grieg's string quartet op 27 by the Mesefe Quartet who have been part of the Strings Attached project with the Vogler Quartet at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
The Vogler Quartet will play two airs by John Buckley; and a violin sonata by Ysaye, a concerto grosso by Heinichen, and music by Caimin Gilmore and Felip Carbonell will make up Sunday's varied fare.
IMA's take place in the Atrium in the Model, beautifully light for a midday event with an equally bright acoustic.
The Gallery Café offer a tempting range of food and drink, children are always welcome (with free admittance), and the set-up is in relaxed cabaret style.
We hope to see you there,
Rod Alston

They're back...

Informal Music Afternoons resume with a Russian flavour

The popular cabaret-style Informal Music Afternoons begin the 2015 season with something of a Russian flavour. Russian harpist Ramona Sakaluskaite (who began learning harp aged three and studied and subsequently played professionally for fifteen yearsin St Petersburg) is one of the performers and Russian music, including composers Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, also feature.

These monthly musical treats take place usually on the first Sunday in each month at 1 pm in The Atrium in the Model. The programme is always eclectic, usually with a core of classical chamber music. People come expecting to be surprised and delighted. The Model Cafe is in operation offering wholesome fare and a smile; you can come and go as you please; absolutely ideal way of introducing children to live music in a relaxed atmosphere.

On Sunday February 1st the performers are Nicola Cleary, Anna Houston, Leonard Dorrian, Ramona Sakaluskaite, Felip Carbonell, Bláithín Norah Farrell, and Ferdia Durkin. Nicoloa Cleary, Anna Houston and Leonard Dorrian will perform the two centre movements from one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written: Schubert's sublime second piano trio in E flat.

One aim of Informal Music Afternoons is to encourage really gifted student performers, and next Sunday performing for the first time in an IMA is Bláithín Norah Farrell, a sixteen year old pianist, pupil of Dr John O'Connor at winner of many awards in Dublin and Sligo

Last IMA of 2014 - 7th Dec, 1pm @ The Model

In the last Informal Music Afternoon of 2014...

Aileen Cahill (piano), Gavin Brennan (saxophone) and The Sligo Baroque Orchestra, leader Nicola Cleary, will perform a varied programme of music from the sixteen hundreds up until the present day. 

Aileen Cahill is no stranger to either this remarkable series of music performance in a cabaret-style setting or to Sligo. A native of Tubbercurry, she has performed many times in Sligo both as an accompanist and a soloist.  She completed her solo studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2007, graduating from Dr John O'Conor's Masters class. She then continued her studies at the Conservatory of Music, DIT, completing a Masters in Accompaniment in 2011. It is there she met Gavin and the two have been an ensemble since. This year, they were awarded an ensemble residency with RTE Con Tempo Quartet and the Galway Music Residency. This involves a year of masterclasses and concerts throughout the country. With the Sligo Baroque Orchestra she has performed Mozart piano concertos and she appeared in a Young Con Brio concert with Jamie Rock. On Sunday Aileen will play Chopin and will accompany a programme of music by Philip Glass, Villa-Lobos, Wagnein and others.   

Gavin Brennan is one of Ireland's young up-and-coming musicians. He graduated from with first class honours from the Conservatory of Music, DIT, where he studied with Kevin Hanafin. He is currently a Masters student of Paul Roe and Fintan O'Carroll at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Sligo Baroque Orchestra will play a chamber concerto (for flute, oboe, violin, cello and continuo) by Vivaldi; some movements from a Telemann concerto grosso and a Concerto by one of the key composers in the court in Dresden in the 18th century, Johann David Heinichen – a composer whose music certainly deserves to be better known – with solo violins, flutes bassoons and cellos!

If you have never been to an Informal Music Afternoon this is your last chance this year (next one in February 2015), they are very relaxed, welcoming, and child-friendly; and you can enjoy the fare of the Model Cafe and come and go as you please. What is more is that it is only €5 admission – and children go free....

IMAs are organised by Sligo Baroque Orchestra and The Model

Sligo Baroque Orchestra buys a new harpsichord – with help of Music Generation Sligo Instrument Fund

Sligo Baroque Orchestra has purchased a single strung Italian harpsichord from UK
harpsichord maker, Colin Booth. The purchase was made possible due to generous assistance
from Music Generation Sligo Instrument Bank Scheme and a loan from an anonymous

The new harpsichord has already been used in two Informal Music Afternoons, but part of
the reason for acquiring the instrument is to have a harpsichord in Sligo that is available for
students to use – and also other ensembles.

The harpsichord in use at IMA on February 2nd 2014 in The Model

The harpsichord in use at IMA on February 2nd 2014 in The Model

Italian single strung harpsichord made by Colin Booth who has been an important part of recent Sligo Festival of Baroque Music, as harpsichordist, bringing a number of instruments, as technician and as maker talking about technical, historical and aesthetic aspects.

Italian single strung harpsichord made by Colin Booth who has been an important part of recent Sligo Festival of Baroque Music, as harpsichordist, bringing a number of instruments, as technician and as maker talking about technical, historical and aesthetic aspects.


Sligo Baroque Orchestra's next concert is on March the 8th, the annual concert celebrating the abilities of gifted young instrumentalist. It will also be used as a fundraiser for the new harpsichord.

Coppyright Sligo Baroque Orchestra 2016