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Sligo Baroque Festival

Sligo Baroque Orchestra – A Strangely Concealed Imagination

music from the mind of women in the 17th and 18th centuries

Welcome you to this year's Sligo Baroque Festival, 2020. Uncertainty abounds these days - our lives unequivocally changed by the onset of the Covid pandemic. However, in light of this the value of the Sligo Baroque Festival has only been magnified. This year, our commitment to Irish artists has been fortified to meet the difficulties we musicians are experiencing. Our concert halls remain silent, the theatres empty, and in an already precarious position of no play no pay, the Covid measures are affecting not merely our livelihoods, but our cultural expression in its entirety.

Sligo Baroque Orchestra, directed by Nicola Cleary, with Katelyn Ressler, soprano

Sligo Baroque Orchestra was formed as Sligo Early Music Ensemble in 1990, a time when classical instrumental music in Sligo had been all but non-existent for some years. A debut public performance took place in 1991 in Parke's Castle, on the shores of Lough Gill and the group celebrates thirty years of making music in Sligo this year.

It is undoubtedly the case that laws, conventions and prevailing attitudes tended to exclude women from performing and composing music through most of recorded European history; no less true is the fact that there have been throughout history numbers of women who were determined not to be silenced by laws, conventions or attitudes. What is even more disturbing than the initial inequality, is the fact that many female composers and performers were very successful in their day, but society, history, the male ego have conspired to almost erase any trace of their existence.

The SBO's programme aims to reintroduce a few of the many women that were active in the world of music in the 17th and 18th centuries. A happy accident of this concert is that all the soloists in the programme are, like the composers, women.


Maria Antonia von Bayern:          Overture  from Talestri, Regina delle Amazzoni
(1724 – 1780)                             Allegro – Andante – Allegro


Isabella Leonarda:                      Sonata in A for two violins, obligato cello, cembalo, Opus 16 no. 7
(1620 – 1704)                             Five movements, of which only the second has a tempo mark: Largo


Mrs Philarmonica:                      Sonata in D major for two violins, obligato cello and harpsichord
(fl. circa 1715)                             Adagio – Presto – Adagio – Presto


Wilhelmine von Bayreuth:           Concerto in G for obligato harpsichord and strings
(1709 – 1758)                            First movement - Allegro


Maria Teresa Agnesi:                 Aria: Son confusa pastorella
(1720 – 1795)                            from 12 arias for soprano, strings and continuo, published in 1749


Anna Bon Di Venezia:                Sonata in D for flute and harpsichord, Opus 1 no. 4
(1738 – 1767)                            Allegro moderato – Andante – Allegro assai
                                                from a set of six sonatas published in 1756    


Maddalena Laura Lombardini:      Concerto in B flat for violin and orchestra, Opus 3 no. 1

(1745 – 1818)                             Moderato – Andante – Rondo allegretto

                                                from a collection of six violin concertos published in 1771     


This concert will be approximately one hour's duration. In line with Government recommendations, seating capacity is limited and tickets must be pre-booked online in advance. Tickets are available to purchase online from 16th September at 10am. People will be allocated socially distant seats on arrival. When booking multiple tickets you will be seated together.

Concessions are available directly from box office which is open for in person bookings from Wednesday-Friday, 10 – 2pm from 19th September, at 071-9161518 or at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Temple Street, Sligo. They can also be arranged by emailing