The East Cork Early Music Festival promotes and develops historically-informed (early) music performance in Cork city and county.

East Cork Early Music Festival was established in 2003 by internationally-renowned viol player Sarah Cunningham and Irish early musician Douglas Gunn in collaboration with Cork County Council Arts Office and later the Arts Council. Since its inception, the festival has made high-quality music accessible to all audiences, through the unique accessibility of early music that shares qualities with the best of classical, folk and improvised music.

Our vision is an Ireland where early music is appreciated by audiences of all ages and backgrounds throughout the country and artists specialising in this music are developed and nurtured.  We aim to integrate the authentic style and spirit of an earlier time with performances which are vital and coherent in the present.

Early Music

The term ‘Early Music’ generally refers to music composed before 1750, performed on instruments appropriate to the period. However, the festival may include later music and connect to contemporary music, oral tradition and folk music from various cultures and other art forms such as dance, theatre, literature, visual art and film.

In this way we acknowledge early music as a vital root of present culture.


What We Do

We develop high-quality international standard early music for Cork audiences annually at the East Cork Early Music Festival.

We provide employment to Cork and Irish-based early music specialists, allowing them to develop their skills in collaboration with international and Irish artists.

We work year-round to develop structures for early music in Cork, to attract artists and and concerts to the area, and to educate audiences.

We provide educational opportunities for young musicians and performance platforms to developing professionals and Irish early music specialists.

We promote education activities through our programme of masterclasses, lectures, school concerts and workshops. These are aimed at a wide range of students; from primary schools through to university level.

We are committed to raising the profile of early music in Cork, engaging audiences and encouraging other organisations to develop the area of early music.


Our Team

East Cork Early Music is guided by the artistic and festival directors who are committed to delivering high-quality performances and creative programmes. 

The overall strategy, priorities and governance arrangements of East Cork Early Music are directed by its Board.

Registered Address: East Cork Early Music, 8 Mount Prospect, Shanakiel Road, Cork, T23 CX3C

Registration No: 390086

Charity Number: 16665

Our Creative Team

Caitriona O’Mahony – Artistic Director

Norah O’Leary – Festival Director

Our Board

Edward Fahy – Chair

Mark Kahn 

Kodzo Selormey – Treasurer

Síle Ní Dubhghaill

Aodán Ó Dubhghaill

Máire O’Sullivan

Allan Navratil

Pauline Mac Sweeney


How We Operate

East Cork Early Music is a Registered Charity, No: 16665 and is compliance with the  Charities Governance Code


Complaints, feedback and comments should be addressed to: Kodzo Selormey, Feedback and Complaints Officer, East Cork Early Music, 8 Mount Prospect, Shanakiel Road, Cork, T23 CX3C

Our Policies & Statements

Privacy Policy

Donor Charter

Child Protection Policy

Safeguarding Statement

Volunteer Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy


We are very thankful for the support, encouragement, and hard work of a group of loyal friends without whom there would be no festival.

Ian McDonagh・Grace Mitchell・All staff at Nano Nagle Place・Danielle O’Donovan・Yonit Kosovske・All staff at MTU Cork School of Music・Ciara Glasheen・Evelyn Grant・Justin Grounds・Improvised Music Company・Kenneth Killeen・Irish Early Music Network・Wolodymyr Smishkewych・Mark Chambers・ Dean Susan Green・Diocese of Cork, Cloyne & Ross・Eamon Sweeney・Aoife Nic Athlaoich・West Cork Chamber Music Festival・Clare Keogh・Paul O’Donnell・UCC Music・Tom Crowley・Cork Orchestral Society・Cork Academy of Music・Billy O’Callaghan・Tristan Russcher・James Taylor・Roddy O’Keeffe・Ronan Kelly・Malcolm & Susan Proud・Aiveen Kearney・Shauna Davies・Philomena & Gabriel O’Neill・Ó. O’Leary ・L&B O’Mahony・

Music students and up and coming young professionals have been profoundly influenced by working in masterclasses with world renowned musicians such as:

  • Emma Kirkby and James Bowman – Voice
  • Adrian Butterfield and Rachel Podger – Baroque violin
  • Rachel Brown, Barthold Kuijken and Wilbert Hazelzet – Baroque Flute
  • Pamela Thorby, Robert Ehrlich and Ian Wilson – recorders
Bob Van Asperen and Malcolm Proud – harpsichord
  • William Carter and Jacob Lindberg – Baroque Guitar and Lute
  • Elizabeth Wallfisch – baroque violin
  • Mary Collins – baroque dance
  • Andreas Helm – baroque oboe