Irish Baroque Orchestra Apprentice Scheme Now Open for 2023

Are you studying a baroque string instrument and looking to take the next step in your career? Look no further than the Irish Baroque Orchestra’s Apprentice Scheme! The IBO’s unique and immersive programme is designed to cultivate the next generation of professional musicians, and has already launched the careers of several professional musicians. 

The space between completing one’s studies and entering a profession can be a difficult one to navigate. As an apprentice you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with our experienced musicians, gaining invaluable experience and insights into the inner workings of a professional orchestra. You will also receive one-on-one mentoring and lessons, attend professional development sessions and have the opportunity to perform with the orchestra. The notion of learning a craft from experienced hands is an ancient one, and the in-depth experience in historical performance offered by the IBO Apprentice Scheme is the first of its kind in Ireland. 

This is a huge opportunity for exceptional string players who are completing, or have recently completed, third-level study with some element of historical performance training. This may be on a second study instrument, or through experience gained with the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra. We want to support your growth and development using our musicians and expertise, and help you to get the most from your year as an IBO Apprentice. ​

Summary of the Apprentice Year:

The Apprentice pathway comprises the following opportunities:

  • Lessons with experienced professionals. 
  • Professional development and mentoring sessions e.g. writing CVs and biographies
  • Developing skills in education and participation activity, from planning to delivery.
  • Intensive coaching and a performance showcase at the Dublin HandelFest 2023 (July 13 – 16)
  • Involvement with the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra, in a principal seat (July 17 – 22)
  • Participation in two projects with the IBO in 2023, under the directorship of Peter Whelan (September 6 – 10 and November 28 – December 2)
  • The chance to develop your skills in historically-informed performance in a supportive professional environment. 
  • Instrument loan where feasible. 
  • Access to the IBO music library. 

Additional opportunities may arise during the course of the year. 

How to Apply:

The IBO Apprentice Scheme is open to players of violin, viola, cello and double bass. We welcome applications from musicians based on the island of Ireland, or Irish citizens living abroad. To apply please send the following to by 5pm on Friday, 3 February 2023 stating ‘IBO Apprentice Application’ as the email subject:

  • A covering letter stating why you are applying for the apprenticeship 
  • Your CV
  • Video or audio footage of yourself playing two contrasting unaccompanied movements of works by Bach. 

Please note that late applications will not be considered. We aim to inform all applicants of the outcome of their submission on or before 24 February 2023. 

Use of a baroque instrument and bow is desirable, but is not a prerequisite. A baroque bow and modern instrument would also be a possibility, as would a modern instrument and modern bow. If access to recording or filming equipment is a barrier to applying then please contact to discuss how we can meet your needs. 

“In my experience, the Apprenticeship Program was truly unique. It is a perfect bridge between student life and professional career, with the advantage of having a team behind you to help and guide you in the process. In historically-informed interpretation there is really a world of things to learn that take you to another much deeper and more meaningful level of interpretation, which with the help of the Scheme one can walk through and experience.” Giammaria Tesei, Violin, IBO Apprentice 2022 


We recognise that musicians develop their careers at different stages in their lives. Therefore there is no formal age limit for the Apprentice scheme, but we expect that all applicants will either currently be engaging in third-level study, or will have completed third-level study within the last year. 

We welcome applications from musicians based on the island of Ireland, or Irish citizens living abroad. However we cannot guarantee to cover travel expenses for successful applicants travelling from outside of Ireland to participate in Apprentice projects. 

The IBO Apprentice Scheme in 2023 is generously supported by Arts Council Ireland and the Friends and Patrons of the Irish Baroque Orchestra. 

Learn more about the IBO here.