A Celebration of Early Music in Limerick
Every year on the 21st of March is Early Music Day, celebrated on Bach’s birthday. The Limerick Early Music Festival (LEMF) takes place on the weekend closest to Early Music Day in different venues across the medieval city of Limerick. The city’s location at the mouth of the River Shannon gives it an ‘Atlantic Edge’ at the same time that it looks towards Europe and the world in a positive and multicultural embrace.
Historically Informed Performance, or “HIP”, has typically been—and very much still is—about making informed choices about performing Western Classical music from the early Medieval to the late Romantic—or about 900 to 1900—using what we know about history and social context. It is not about an unattainable (and over-claimed) ideal of “authenticity.” HIP responsibly researches history and culture in order to move forward and make informed and artistically sound decisions about performing music (and other art forms, such as dance and theatre) in the present. It seeks not to recreate the past, but to create a meaningful and moving experience for audiences today.
LEMF’s goal is to promote early repertoires from around the world on period and modern instruments. We also support new music performed on historical instruments. With these goals in mind, we aim to build bridges between and among cultures and celebrate a rich continuum of over a thousand years of music-making.
Limerick embraces the diversity of its history and its present, mirroring the transformations happening in Ireland and Europe. We at LEMF are a part of this transformation: we want to explore the many facets of Historically Informed Performance around the world, as well as represent the variety of our fellow artists, collaborators, and concertgoers. We want everyone who wishes to enjoy and take part in this cultural treasure, to do so—and we want to bring that access to everyone.
Who are we?
Limerick Early Music Festival’s founders and directors are Yonit Kosovske and Vlad Smishkewych. Yonit is a keyboardist performing on harpsichord, modern piano, fortepiano, and chamber organ. Vlad is a tenor vocalist and radio announcer at RTÉ lyric fm, and general manager of Resurgam Choir. We have been performing and recording early music and contemporary music since the 1990s as soloists and as chamber artists. Limerick Early Music Festival is a production of Now and Then Media, which promotes performance, teaching, and research through historically informed concerts, courses, and media in order to increase early music study and audience reception in Ireland, particularly in the Limerick area.