About The Irish Memory Orchestra

Photo of The Irish Memory Orchestra
Photo of The Irish Memory Orchestra

The only ensemble of its kind in the world, the IMO has wowed audiences from London to Moscow, Clare to Korea with its ground-breaking and inclusive approach to orchestral music. Since founding in 2012 the IMO has broken down barriers by removing sheet music from the stage, thus opening access to musicians and instruments not usually found in orchestral music.. Our 100% commitment to memorised performances sets us apart from every orchestra in the Western world.

The IMO has a core of 20 world-class musicians, led by founder/composer Dave Flynn, conductor Bjorn Bantock and orchestra leader Niamh Varian-Barry. This outstanding ensemble blends ancient Celtic instruments with orchestral strings, winds and brass, guitars and a jazz-tinged rhythm section.

The orchestra has played to capacity houses nationally and internationally, including Moscow’s Catholic Cathedral, London’s Cadogan Hall, South Korea’s Sori Festival and with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at Ireland’s National Concert Hall. The IMO’s innovative collaborations with leading traditional Irish musicians including Liz Carroll, Martin Hayes, Mary Bergin & Máirtín O’Connor are acclaimed by audiences and critics alike.

Awards & Nominations:

2020 – Silver award at the All-Ireland Community and Council Awards for ‘The Vision Symphony, a world-first project, when the IMO were joined by 26 talented blind and vision-impaired musicians to premiere Dave Flynn’s ‘Vision Symphony’ in glór. Read more about the Vision Symphony here
2019 – Excellence in Local Government Awards – Nominated for ‘The Vision Symphony’ in Disability Services Provision
2015 – Allianz Business to Arts Award with the ESB for the Concert in the Cavern
2014 – Allianz Business to Arts Award Nomination and Commendation with Clare County Council for ‘The Clare Concerto’

MISSION STATEMENT

We operate with a core message of Innovative Irish Inclusivity . We redefine orchestral music by always performing by memory with a unique instrumentation and repertoire. Our artistic practice sets us apart from every other orchestra in the world.

VALUES

​We seek to work with exceptional musicians including those who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to orchestral music. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion has ensured we are a gender-balanced ensemble that has given opportunities to a wide cross-section of the community including blind/visually impaired musicians and people aged 10 to 90.

RESOLVE

For the West of Ireland to have an award-winning orchestra that is the only ensemble of its kind in the world, it has taken determination, resolve and extraordinary artistic vision.

GOVERNANCE

​Irish Memory Orchestra Limited is a non-profit Private Company Limited by Shares. Company Number 656735.

Photo of THE HORN & PERCUSSION SECTION OF THE IRISH MEMORY ORCHESTRA. Photo: John O'Neill
Photo of THE HORN & PERCUSSION SECTION OF THE IRISH MEMORY ORCHESTRA. Photo: John O’Neill
Photo of THE WIND & REED SECTION OF THE IRISH MEMORY ORCHESTRA. Photo: John O'Neill
Photo of THE WIND & REED SECTION OF THE IRISH MEMORY ORCHESTRA. Photo: John O’Neill
Photo of THE STRING SECTION OF THE IRISH MEMORY ORCHESTRA. Photo: John O'Neill
Photo of THE STRING SECTION OF THE IRISH MEMORY ORCHESTRA. Photo: John O’Neill