This week sees the return of the East Cork Early Music Festival, and with it a return to live performances with artists and audiences together for the first time since 2019. Artistic Director Caitríona O’Mahony said, “After the challenges of the last couple of years, we’re thrilled to have wonderful artists singing and playing together again. With the absolute favourites of Handel and Bach in there, there will be plenty of joyful and uplifting music to celebrate coming back together with our audiences, and coming back to the particular brand of time-travel that we can only do through music of the past.”

With six concerts over four days, along with special performances for schools and workshops for rising musicians and young composers, the festival’s programme celebrates the diversity of early music. Alongside a chamber version of Handel’s Messiah (with festival regulars Madrigal ’75) and an appearance by Camerata Kilkenny performing cantatas by J.S. Bach, audiences can also experience the early and folk music of Scandinavia, as well as works by Baroque women composers Barbara Strozzi and Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre.

Performances take place in venues in Cork city, Cloyne, and Midleton, and the festival runs 13-16 October. For further details and booking information, see:

Image (of festival directors Norah O’Leary and Caitríona O’Mahony) by Clare Keogh