Fri 7th - Thur 13th | July 2023

Illustrated Talks

Master of the King’s Music in Ireland: Matthew Dubourg and the Early Irish Harp

Siobhán Armstrong

60 mins

Level: All

Wednesday July 12th

12:00 - 13:00 GMT +1

This event will be available to ticket holders to join at the given date and time

  • Times shown are Irish summer time (GMT+1)
  • Zoom login details will be provided 10 mins prior to the event

Event Overview

The virtuoso English violinist and composer, Matthew Dubourg, was the music director of the colonial regime in Ireland in the 18th century, based at Dublin Castle. A close friend of Handel—for whose concerts in Dublin he led the orchestra—Dubourg was a colourful character who played at country fairs incognito, and may also have interacted with Irish harpers. He took a sincere interest in indigenous Irish music, copying down at least one harp-song air with the Irish lyrics intact, written phonetically. One harper, in turn, played some Dubourg on his harp! This talk outlines the surviving connections between Dubourg’s world and that of Irish harpers.  

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