The Irish Chamber Orchestra takes its commitment to nurturing talented young musicians a step further with this innovative new ‘academy’ that brings together students from all over the world.

Every autumn, gifted music students from leading international conservatoires come together for a unique residency at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

Guided by Diane Daly, Course Director of the University of Limerick’s groundbreaking MA in Classical String Performance, and by members of the internationally renowned Irish Chamber Orchestra, students embark on an innovative programme of study designed to help them develop self-awareness as musicians. Working on Dalcrozian rehearsal techniques, students experiment with creative forms of music-making, focusing on communication and on bringing the music to life, before delivering a public performance.

Held over three days in November 2018, the inaugural academy – which brought together students from conservatoires in South Africa, Japan, Belgium, Russia, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Belgium, China, India, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands and Ireland – was a tremendous success, culminating in a triumphant ensemble performance in the magnificent St Mary’s Cathedral.

Students currently undertaking the MA in Classical String Performance at the University of Limerick automatically qualify for the academy. All other students – national and international – are warmly invited to apply. Applications are now open and that online auditions will take place regularly during the year for places starting in September 2022.

 The ICOA is funded by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, and made possible by the support of music conservatoires across Ireland, the UK and Europe, together with the generosity and support of St Mary’s Cathedral.

‘The learning environment was one of the most constructive, efficient, educational, fun, and inspiring I’ve ever had the pleasure to participate in.’

Christian Elliot, Principal Cellist, ICO

‘so encouraging and inspiring’

Sophie Nash, RNCM, Manchester

‘the ICO Academy course was just brilliant … a really worthwhile experience’

Aisling Reilly, bassist, Birmingham Conservatoire

‘I would like to thank you for organizing this fantastic ICO Academy. It was great to be in Limerick, play with you and meet so many amazing people … I learned a lot in Limerick and I will use this knowledge in my orchestral and chamber work in Poland’

Alicja Miruk-Mirska, violinist, Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music, Gdansk

‘an experience which I will always remember … Through Diane’s innovative approach I could actually feel the music within me and really enjoy its beauty. It made me realise the sole purpose of my practising daily for hours.’

Adi Mukherji, violinist, IWA

‘I can’t thank you enough for what a wonderful time I had in Ireland. The past week has been absolutely incredible! Firstly making new friends from all over the world, to playing absolutely beautiful music, as well as being mentored by the kind and knowledgeable tutors.’

Ebony Lim, bassist, University of Western Australia  

Changing lives through music

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