Since founding in 2012 we have developed award-winning corporate partnerships with organisations including ESB, Clare County Council, RTÉ, Aer Lingus & the J.P. McManus Charitable Foundation. We won an Allianz Business to Arts Award with ESB/Electric Ireland in 2015 and were nominated with Clare County Council in 2014.
Another unbelievable performance. Would walk on hot coals to hear them again! BERNIE
Thank you for such a beautiful concert at the Catholic Church in Moscow! Wish you success all the time! ANDREW
their performance was so astounding! Wish you all the best of luck in spreading the joy! JUDITH
Congrats to all concerned for that fantastic, amazing concert last night. Have been to many concerts in many places but that beat all! MARGARET
Just wanted to say thanks for a truly unique musical experience …. So glad I got those last minute tickets! JASON
what a fantastic treat for the senses. Please please can we have another performance anywhere – MARY
I couldn’t stop smiling the whole way through, I now notice I wasn’t the only one! Privileged to have been part of the scheme, (along with my daughter Síofra last year) and made some new friends in the process too… BRIDGE
absolutely blown away by the whole concept of the IMO .. Brilliant and wonderful to hear and see such talented Irish musicians collaborating together on stage. Congrats ANNE
An absolute triumph! Next stop Carnegie Hall! MARY
Absolutely sublime and uplifting. Don’t miss them if you can. ALBERT
I have no words for how good this is! KRISTIAN
A River Dance moment for trad inspired Music. Brilliant! COLM
I was there and will never forget it. SPLORTZ
heard the London debut t’other night. very interesting music. KELAMUNI
Fíor concerto, níla leithéid aon áit eile ar domhan, b’fhêidir ar neamh! EILEEN
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’
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.
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.
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.
Irish Memory Orchestra Limited is a non-profit Private Company Limited by Shares. Company Number 656735.
Applications are now open for young musicians wishing to audition for the 2021/22 IMO Youth Orchestra & Choir
We are delighted to announce that the Irish Memory Orchestra is now inviting applications from musicians aged 10 – 24, to participate in the 2021/22 IMO Youth Orchestra & Choir programme: ‘Vision and Memory’.
This new cross-genre orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Young Ensemble Scheme and will meet in Galway City from 12th-16th April 2022, with online learning and preparation beginning in November 2021.
Following an audition process, a large number of young full-sighted, blind and visually-impaired instrumentalists and singers will be selected to rehearse and perform alongside core members of the Irish Memory Orchestra and professional blind and visually-impaired musicians.
Together they will work towards a performance of Dave Flynn’s groundbreaking work, The Vision Symphony, in Galway on Easter Saturday, 16th April 2022. The performance will be conducted by Bjorn Bantock and will also include the world premiere of a new collaborative work composed by young blind/visually-impaired composers.
All of the musicians involved in the programme will perform from memory. Without the need for sheet music, the notion of disability recedes and enables each member of the orchestra to contribute equally. The most outstanding applicants will be selected as Youth Orchestra section leaders, and will work alongside professional members of the Irish Memory Orchestra to mentor their section. For all of the young participants, the experience of working with acclaimed musicians from diverse musical backgrounds promises to be an unforgettable creative and social experience.
Who can apply?
Young musicians aged 10-24 who live in Ireland or are Irish citizens, and meet the following criteria, are invited to apply:
Instrumentalists performing on any instrument in a range of genres (trad, jazz, world, classical etc).
Singers performing in any style
All instruments and vocal styles will be considered. Musicians who have a high level of ability in traditional Irish music, classical music and/or jazz will be prioritised.
Musicians who have reached an intermediate level of proficiency at a minimum, with the passion and commitment to perform a challenging programme by memory
It is not necessary to be able to read music to participate. Musicians who can and can not read music are catered for.
Thursday 26th August 2021: Applications Open
Friday 1st October 2021: Applications Close
November 2021 – April 2022: Participants must be available for online tuition approximately once a month
Tuesday 12th – Friday 15th April 2022: Rehearsal period in Galway City
Saturday 16th April 2022: Final rehearsal and public performance in Galway City
There are no tuition fees in 2021/22
Participants must organise and pay for their own travel and accommodation, and supervision is not provided for younger participants outside of the rehearsal hours.
Further details on the rehearsal and performance venue in Galway will follow, along with a recommended accommodation option, if required.
There will be several travel and accommodation scholarships for blind and vision-impaired musicians/singers.
An audition fee of €12 will apply per applicant.
To apply, please complete the online form at the link below and send us video auditions of yourself performing 2 contrasting pieces/songs on each instrument you wish to audition for.