Conductors & Harpsichord

Peter Whelan

Artistic Director, Irish Baroque Orchestra & Marsyas Ensemble
Artistic Partner, Irish National Opera

© Jen Owens

Introduction

Irish-born Peter Whelan is among the most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance of his generation, with a remarkable career as a conductor, keyboardist and solo bassoonist. He is Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and founding Artistic Director of Ensemble Marsyas.

As conductor, Peter has a passion for exploring and championing neglected music from the Baroque era. Recent projects funded by The Arts Council (Ireland) and Creative Scotland involved recreating and staging live performances of choral and symphonic music from eighteenth-century Dublin and Edinburgh. This led to his award-winning disc ‘Edinburgh 1742’ for Linn Records and his 2017 reconstruction of the ‘Irish State Musick’ in its original venue of Dublin Castle.

A regular collaborator with Irish National Opera, Peter begins the 2019/20 season with performances of Vivaldi’s Griselda with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, returning in May for Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Further engagements with the Irish Baroque Orchestra include performances at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, productions of Handel’s Messiah, and an Ireland Tour with mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught. This season also sees Peter making his debut with Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, as well as enjoying a residency at Wigmore Hall with Ensemble Marsyas.

Peter is “as exciting a live wire as Ireland has produced in the world of period performance” (Irish Times). His artistic direction in live performance and the recording studio has been praised for its “stylish verve” (BBC Music Magazine), its “exuberance and elegance” (Irish Examiner), and its “slick tempi, grit and character” (Golden Plec).


Contact


Performance Schedule

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    19:30 18 Sep 2019 Ardhowen Theatre Enniskillen, ENNISKILLEN

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Water Music Suite No. 2 in D major HWV 349
    ANTONIO VIVALDI Bassoon Concerto in G major RV 493
    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068
    Interval
    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Concerto for 2 violins in D minor BWV 1043
    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Music for the Royal Fireworks

    Bassoon: Vahan Khourdoian
    Ensemble: Ulster Orchestra

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    19:30 03 Oct 2019 Stavanger Concert Hall, STAVANGER

    HENRY PURCELL Suite from the Fairy Queen
    ARCANGELO CORELLI Recorder Concert No. 7
    ANTONIO VIVALDI Recorder Concert in C Major
    Interval
    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Water Music Suite No. 1 in F major HWV 348

    Recorder: Maurice Steger
    Ensemble: Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

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    20:00 12 Oct 2019 Town Hall Theatre Galway, GALWAY

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra

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    20:00 15 Oct 2019 An Grianán Theatre, LETTERKENNY

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra

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    20:00 17 Oct 2019 Hawk's Well Theatre, SLIGO

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan

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    20:00 19 Oct 2019 Solstice Arts Centre, NAVAN

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan

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    20:00 22 Oct 2019 Watergate Theatre, KILKENNY

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan

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    20:00 24 Oct 2019 Lime Tree Theatre, LIMERICK

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan

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    19:30 26 Oct 2019 Pavilion Theatre Dun Laoghaire, DUN LAOGHAIRE

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan

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    19:30 27 Oct 2019 Pavilion Theatre Dun Laoghaire, DUN LAOGHAIRE

    ANTONIO VIVALDI Griselda

    Griselda: Katie Bray
    Gualtiero: Jorge Navarro Colorado
    Costanza: Emma Morwood
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra
    Ottone: Sinéad O’Kelly
    Roberto: Russell Harcourt
    Corrado: Raphaela Mangan

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    19:30 05 Dec 2019 Wexford National Opera House, WEXFORD

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Messiah

    Soprano: Emma Morwood
    Mezzo-Soprano: Rachel Kelly 
    Tenor: Anthony Gregory
    Bass: Edward Grint
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra

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    19:30 06 Dec 2019 St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin, DUBLIN

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Messiah

    Soprano: Emma Morwood
    Mezzo-Soprano: Rachel Kelly 
    Tenor: Anthony Gregory
    Bass: Edward Grint
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra

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    19:30 08 Dec 2019 Galway Cathedral, GALWAY

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Messiah

    Soprano: Emma Morwood
    Mezzo-Soprano: Rachel Kelly 
    Tenor: Anthony Gregory
    Bass: Edward Grint
    Ensemble: Irish Baroque Orchestra

Press

 
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    20 May 19 Mozart: The Magic Flute Irish National Opera
    National Opera House, Wexford

    “And the conductor and Baroque specialist Peter Whelan maximised its impact of delight, drawing from the Irish Chamber Orchestra the kind of crisp, zesty energy associated with period performance. It riveted you, and you sat there thinking, This feels like it’s going to be very good. And it was.”

    ★★★★☆

    Michael Duncan, The Irish Times, 20 May 19

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    11 Oct 18 Handel: Radamisto English Touring Opera
    Hackney Empire

    “The vivacious band is spiritedly conducted by Peter Whelan.”

    ★★★★☆

    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 7 Oct 18

     

    “Under Peter Whelan’s direction the Old Street band gracefully speeds the action.”

    ★★★★☆
    Michael Church, The Independent, 8 Oct 18

     

    “Peter Whelan conducts with imaginative touches.”

    ★★★★☆

    Richard Morrison, The Times, 9 Oct 18

     

    “Peter Whelan conducts the Old Street Band with buoyant style.”

    ★★★☆☆

    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 11 Oct 18

     

    “The band is conducted stylishly from the harpsichord by Peter Whelan […]”

    ★★★☆☆

    Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 11 Oct 18

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    24 Jul 18 Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice Irish National Opera
    Galway International Arts Festival

    “Conductor Peter Whelan, consistently attentive to the balance of voices and instruments, brought an intense, crisp energy to the stylish playing of the Irish Baroque Orchestra.”

    ★★★★☆

    Michael Dungan, The Irish Times, 24 July 18

     

    “The Irish Baroque Orchestra brings out the rich textures in Gluck’s score to cradle Orfeo’s grief. Conductor Peter Whelan’s timing is perfect and has plenty of personality.”

    Katy Hayes, The Independent, 29 July 18

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    22 Apr 18 Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro Irish National Opera
    Gaiety Theatre, Dublin

    “Conductor Peter Whelan’s command is perfectly pitched, with the orchestra’s comic timing occasionally uncannily well-judged, getting laughs all on its own. This is a packed evening’s first-rate entertainment; it runs the full three hours and 20, with every minute well spent.”

    Katy Hayes, The Independent, 22 April 18

     

    “He was abetted by conductor Peter Whelan, who coaxed fleet playing from the Irish Chamber Orchestra so that the action rarely dragged.”

    Hugh Canning, The Times, 22 April 18

Discography