The 23rd Sligo Festival of Baroque Music was launched with a delightful concert by Sligo Baroque Orchestra in the lovely Canis Major hall at the Clayton Hotel, Sligo.

The audience were treated to works by some of the composers who are featured in this year’s festival, which will take place at The Model arts centre on the weekend of September 28 to 30.

The theme of this year’s festival will be ‘Dublin and Dresden: Music From the Mid-18th Century’.

Artistic director, Rod Alston, who conducted the orchestra from the harpsichord, spoke of some of the highlights which music lovers can look forward to.

A range of top-class Irish and international musicians and singers will come to Sligo, joining with talented local performers to present a varied programme of authentic baroque music on period instruments.

Musica Poetica, a young ensemble based in Holland, will give the festival’s opening concert of music from Dresden, on Friday, September 28, while the renowned Camerata Kilkenny will round it off on Sunday, September 30 with arias, cantatas and sonatas by Geminiani, Handel and other composers associated with 18th century Dublin.

Concerts will also be presented by performers including Argentinian Luciana Elizondo on the viola da gamba, Giordani String Quartet, from Ireland, Englishman Colin Booth on the harpsichord, as well as the excellent Sligo Baroque Orchestra.

The festival actively fosters the development of local young musicians, and the weekend will feature masterclasses by the visiting artists, as well as performance opportunities for emerging soloists on baroque instruments, and the festival Youth Orchestra.

The programme, now available on, is packed with events so make a note of the dates for your diary – 28th to 30th September – and tell your friends, who may wish to visit Sligo over the weekend for some special musical experiences.

Thanks to the support of generous funders and sponsors, tickets are reasonably priced, and the weekend ticket, which admits to all concerts and events, is particularly good value. Tickets for the Sligo Festival of Baroque Music are now available from the Hawk’s Well Theatre box office (, or 071 916 1518) and also from Ward’s Pharmacy, O’Connell Street, Sligo.