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Established in 2016, Birr Festival of Music is an ever-developing annual classical music festival in Birr, Co. Offaly.

We are also home to
The Trench Award and
Birr Young Voices

Birr Festival of Music 2024 will take place from 2-6 May.

Our programme includes a vibrant range of events; concerts (indoors and outdoors), workshops, street performances, pop-up and online events featuring singers and musicians of national and international acclaim.

Our Vision

Our aims are to:
  1. expand the profile and enjoyment of classical music for all
  2. ​support emerging professional musicians in their training and development
  3. support children’s choral singing through Birr Young Voices
  4. ​work to establish a Community Festival Choir
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About our festival

Niall Kinsella

Artistic Curator

We are delighted to announce pianist, conductor, art song specialist and one of Ireland’s most sought-after accompanists, Niall Kinsella will continue as Artistic Curator for Birr Festival of Music in 2024.


Joining us in the role for the first in 2023, 

Niall curated three very special concerts to make the 10th Anniversary of The Trench Award featuring award recipients from the past nine years for the festival last year.

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Julia Trench, who died in 2007 left the residue of her estate to create a Trust Fund, the income from which she designated should be used for educational, religious, welfare and social and community purposes.


The Revenue Commissioners approved that a Fund with charitable status should be established and so, the JVM Trench Trust has been supporting community projects mainly, but not exclusively in the Midlands of Ireland. 

Julia & Patrick Trench had an abiding love of music. Both sang, played piano, organ, flute and harp and were noted for their musical evenings at their home at Sopwell Hall, North Tipperary. 


Julia was one of the many generous benefactors of the establishment of Birr Theatre & Arts Centre.  


Birr Festival of Music is immensely grateful to The Trench Trust for its continued and generous support.

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As Trustees of Julia’s Trust, we are endeavouring to give expression to what we know would be her heart’s desire. It is therefore a matter of very great delight to us that Birr Festival of Music has managed to evolve a musical programme in Birr which began with a single competition concert on one Sunday evening and now has grown to include an elaborated competition Concert, Voice and Instrument masterclasses open to the public, a Children’s Choir, visiting musicians and street music in the town.

Salters Sterling
Chairman, The JVM Trench Trust


Maureen de Forge

Festival Director

Anne O'Callaghan Rowan

Development Officer

Michelle de Forge

Artist Liaison

Tommy Lyndon


Emma Nee Haslam

Venue Manager, Birr Theatre & Arts Centre

Rebecca Kelly

Marketing & PR Manager

Enda O'Connor

Secretary/Artistic Consultant

Rachael Corboy

Youth Development Officer

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Over many years, Birr Theatre & Arts Centre has been the catalyst to the establishment of many festivals in Birr, including Birr Festival of Music.


We acknowledge the invaluable support of the theatre, venue manager, Emma Nee Haslam and all the staff and volunteers.

Birr Theatre & Arts Centre is not only of vital importance to all festivals in the town but also to the community and cultural activity of Birr and the wider region.

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