Peter Whelan

Peter Whelan

Peter Whelan

Peter Whelan is among the most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance of his generation, with a remarkable career as a conductor, keyboardist and solo bassoonist. He is Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and founding Artistic Director of Ensemble Marsyas.


    Recent engagements have included appearances with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The English Concert, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Beethoven Orchester Bonn.

    As conductor, Whelan has a particular passion for exploring and championing neglected music from the Baroque era. Recent projects funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Creative Scotland involved recreating and staging live performances of choral and symphonic music from eighteenth-century Dublin and Edinburgh. This led to his award-winning album Edinburgh 1742 for Linn and his 2017 reconstruction of the ‘Irish State Musick’ in its original venue of Dublin Castle.

    Whelan’s performances with the Irish Baroque Orchestra have included Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Purcell’s Hail! bright Cecilia and Handel’s Messiah. With Irish National Opera and Irish Chamber Orchestra he has performed Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Vivaldi’s Bajazet in a co-production with Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He has made his conducting debut with Scottish Chamber Orchestra in a programme of Mozart with mezzo-soprano Katie Bray.

    Whelan’s conducting has been widely praised for its ‘rich insight, style and charisma’ (The Guardian), its ‘stylish verve’ (BBC Music Magazine), its ‘exuberance and elegance’ (Irish Examiner) and its ‘slick tempi, grit and character’ (GoldenPlec).