The John Ireland Charitable Trust

The John Ireland Charitable Trust was formed in 1968 to promote awareness of Ireland's works through recordings, performances and publications.

Any questions relating to the Trust should be directed to the Publicist, Karen Fletcher: 
Selected forthcoming concerts and events can be found on the 'Concerts' page, and recent recordings on the 'New Releases' page.

Latest News

Centenary performances of the Violin Sonata No.2 in 2017

On 6th March 1917, William Murdoch (piano) and Albert Sammons (violin) took to the stage in uniform, at Aeolian Hall in London, to give John Ireland’s 2nd Violin Sonata its world premiere. The performance was such a success it launched the young composer’s career. To celebrate the centenary of this piece, a number of performances are taking place, which are listed on the Concerts page.  

The British Art Song Song Competition 2016 took place on Saturday 19th November and was sponsored by the John Ireland Charitable Trust. 

The British Music Society collaborated with Nigel Foster’s London Song Festival in presenting the Competition (BASC), adjudicated by Sir Thomas Allen. Here is the BMS's report of the competition:

To watch Sir Thomas Allen give a masterclass is to watch a performance in itself - in turn witty, serious and humorous. As well as being a great singer, he is a great actor able to immerse himself in the world of the poet and bring to life the characters and imaginary scenes with conviction and amazing insight. The audience was swept along by his passion for British Art Song and one singer aptly summed up the occasion by saying “this is such an honour” as she walked toward the raised platform for her turn in the masterclass/competition.

The fourteen finalists had been narrowed down from sixty-seven applicants (a far greater number than last year). Most were British but Vivien Conacher hailed from Australia and Julien van Mellaerts from New Zealand, and both Clare Tunney (3rd place winner) and Liam McNally made a special point of informing the audience they were from the north of England.

Sir Thomas Allen encouraged the singers to enjoy themselves. Attention was drawn to the importance of having ‘brightness’in the sound, the ability to ‘spin’ a line and think horizontally to the very end of a melody and beyond, rather than being obsessed with each note in a more vertical approach. Sir Thomas’s approach was flexible and never dogmatic, and he would lighten the serious nature of the art of singing with a sudden quip beautifully delivered: “if you don’t breathe, you die—it’s a well-known fact”. Beth Margaret Taylor from Glasgow was told to let go and relish the celestial harps in ‘King David’: “It’s Hollywood. Don’t tell Herbert Howells I said that!” This song was one of Sir Thomas Allen’s favourites as was Frank Bridge’s ‘Come to me in my dreams’, the latter being regarded by him as a gift to singers: “this is what singing has got to be about.”

At the end of the masterclass, Thomas Isherwood accompanied by Patrick Milne was awarded the £500 First Prize donated by the John Ireland Trustwho will also be sending Thomas a five volume publication of Ireland songs. He has completed his Masters at the GSMD where he now plans to attend Opera School. Thomas sang Finzi’s ‘Fear no more the heat o’ the sun’ and it was clear Sir Thomas was pleased with his performance of Ireland’s ‘When I grow old’ when he expressed his satisfaction with the unusual phrase: “We’ve got to the pub, we might have a couple of pints now.”
Nigel Foster’s 2017 London Song Festival will invite Thomas to perform as part of his award.

Other prize winners included Felix Kemp with pianist Somi Kim singing Ireland’s ‘Great Things’ and Mary Plumstead’s ‘Ha’nacker Mill’ in second place.
In third place was Clare Tunney and her performance of Ireland’s ‘If there were dreams to sell’ and Bridge’s ‘O that it were so’ with her accompanist Matthew Ryan. Both the second and third place recipients received the Stephen and Diana Trowell Prizes. Sir Thomas wished it were possible to award a fourth place to encourage the talents of Heather Caddick accompanied by Nigel Foster who, with only three weeks before giving birth, gave an admirable performance of Ireland’s ‘The Salley Gardens’ and Walton’s ‘Daphne’.

A rich vein of British Art Song was exhibited in the masterclass.  The event was first-class, from the administration and organising of the event by the London Song Festival Artistic Director, Nigel Foster, the finalists and their pianists, Sir Thomas Allen (of course), the prizes (which included a BMS Composer Profile book and a song CD for every singer) to the beautiful ballroom kindly donated by Sir Vernon and Lady Ellis complete with tea, coffee and cake in the interval. 

2016 Finalists and their programmes:
Rhiannon Llewellyn and Finnegan Downie Dear
                   John Ireland – Her Song.
                   William Walton – Through Gilded Trellises
Julien van Mellaerts and Somi Kim
                   John Ireland – Santa Chiara
                   Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Roadside Fire
Eleanor Sanderson Nash and Alex Jenkins
                  John Ireland – If there were dreams to sell
                  Armstrong Gibbs – Arrogant Poppies
Felix Kemp and Somi Kim
                  John Ireland – Great Things
                  Plumstead – Ha'nacker Mill
Ben Vonberg-Clark and Neus Peris (could not take part)
                   John Ireland – In Boyhood
                   Jonathan Dove – Out of Winter IV
Vivien Conacher and Somi Kim
                  John Ireland – Her Song
                  Henry Purcell – Mad Bess
Hugo Heman-Wilson and Jo Ramadan
                  John Ireland – Summer Schemes
                  Gerald Finzi – To Lizzbie Browne
Dierdre McCabe and Chad Vindin
        John Ireland – What art thou thinking of?
        Benjamin Britten - Nocturne
Beth Margaret Taylor and Nigel Foster
        John Ireland – Friendship in Misfortune.
        Herbert Howells – King David
Thomas Isherwood and Patrick Milne
        John Ireland – When I grow old
        Gerald Finzi – Fear no more the heat o' the sun
Heather Caddick and Nigel Foster
         John Ireland – The Salley Gardens,
         William Walton - Daphne
Clare Tunney and Matthew Ryan.
        John Ireland – If there were dreams to sell.
        Frank Bridge – O that it were so
Liam McNally and Nigel Foster
        John Ireland – When lights go rolling round the sky.
        Ivor Gurney – In Flanders
Olivia Warburton and Máire Carroll
         John Ireland – The Trellis
         Frank Bridge – Come to me in my dreams

New Recording of John Ireland's choral music from The Carice Singers, is Naxos 'disc of the month'

'Choral Music by John Ireland and E J Moeran' (8.573584) is the second recording for Naxos by The Carice Singers, under the direction of George Parris.  
“John Ireland’s part-songs are exquisite contributions to their genre”, explained The Carice Singers’ Director, George Parris, “while his pupil, Jack Moeran, resurrected Elizabethan models in search of new inspiration and meaning.  Like Peter Warlock, the featured composer on our first disc for Naxos, these composers are an indispensable part of the great English lineage, and their music deserves to be more widely known today.”
Launched in 2011, The Carice Singers is an ensemble comprised of some of the UK’s finest young professional singers, noted for their “freshness of tone” and “careful musicality” (Gramophone).  Named after the daughter of Sir Edward Elgar, the choir aims to bring an imaginative approach to choral music of the Romantic period and beyond, frequently drawing upon the latest academic research to produce original and insightful programmes. The choir maintains a tradition of performing in rural areas, as well as making appearances at more familiar venues.

Further information including sound-files:

Live broadcast from Bucharest, Romania

Cellist Razvan Suma performed Ireland's Cello Sonata in a live broadcast from Bucharest with the Romanian National Broadcasting Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday 11th May 2016 at Radio Hall in Bucharest.  Look out for performances by Razvan Suma and Rebeca Omordia in the UK during Spring of 2017.

Ireland: Music For String Orchestra

Orchestra of the Swan, conducted by David Curtis
Naxos 8.571372

Raphael Wallfisch and Orchestra of the Swan reinvent John Ireland's Cello Sonata:

English Song treasures now available as Boosey & Hawkes downloads

The Boosey & Hawkes Digital Store has expanded to include over 150 English Songs, with many treasures from the archive returned to availability. Featured composers include Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Gurney, Ireland, Bridge, Warlock, Quilter and Head. Songs by Ireland include: Hope The Hornblower No. 1, Spring Sorrow, I Have Twelve Oxen, Spring Sorrow, If There Were Dreams To Sell, Blind, The Cost and The Holy Boy.

Further information is on the website:

A direct link to the song collection is at:

Live performance of John Ireland's Cello Sonata with Julian Lloyd Webber and John Lenehan at London's Wigmore Hall in December 1992:

Stainer & Bell's 'Composer of the Month' in August 2015 was John Ireland.
Two of his choral works, 'Greater love hath no man' (1912) and 'Vexilla Regis' (1898) remain among the most popular titles in their catalogue.

John Ireland remembered in Deal, Kent

On Saturday 9th May 2015 a Blue Plaque commemorating John Ireland's frequent visits to the Kentish seaside town, midway between Folkestone and Canterbury, was installed on the imposing 18th-century house named 'Comarques' in the High Street where he occupied the top floor whenever he could get away from London in the 1930s.
Ireland was particularly sensitive to place and he wrote that the town was “free from the crushing, tragic weight of ancient times which is so oppressive in the Downs.”  The flat was furnished with the greatest of care, according to an acquaintance; the centrepiece being the baby grand piano which had been presented to him by Chappell. 
The John Ireland Charitable Trust in co-operation with the Deal Festival and the Deal Society sponsored two concerts in the Town Hall during the unveiling weekend; the first featuring the Odysseus Piano Trio (Clare Hammond piano, Sarah Trickey violin and Gregor Riddell cello) in trios by Ireland, Martinu and Brahms, and Clare Hammond played Ireland's piano suite 'Decorations' and Cap Gris Nez by Deal resident and composer, David Matthews. On Sunday, after a morning Mass in St Andrew's Church (including Ireland's anthem 'Ex Ore Innocentium' beautifully sung by the choir) David Matthews and Bruce Phillips, Director of the Trust, discussed the music Ireland is known to have written in Deal, and the talented young musicians of the Purcell School delighted the audience with their performances of music by Ireland, Ravel and Debussy.
See more on our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Facebook and Twitter

The John Ireland Trust has a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook provides a friendly forum to interact with others who share an interest in the music of John Ireland, while Twitter is an instant way to keep in touch and share news about forthcoming concerts and latest recordings.  Simply click on the links provided on this page to be transfered to these free sites.

An informative blog on John Ireland by Fiona Richards:

Latest recordings

see more on the New Releases page.

Activities of the Trust include:

  • A unique five-day Festival entitled 'John Ireland in Chelsea' marked the 50th Anniversary of Ireland's death in 2012 and featured Ireland's own music alongside the work of his teacher Stanford, and his distinguished pupils: Benjamin Britten, E.J.Moeran, Alan Bush, Richard Arnell, Geoffrey Bush and Helen Perkin.  Festival artists included: Mark Bebbington, John Lenehan, Julian Lloyd Webber, Rupert Marshall-Luck, Timothy West, Roderick Williams, the London Soloists Ensemble, East London Brass, the Berkeley Ensemble, David Wordsworth and the Addison Singers, and the Choirs of St Luke’s and Holy Trinity, Chelsea.

  • Funding of annual performance competitions at nine major music colleges in the UK. These competitions have recently been extended to two universities in the USA.  The most recent took place at the Birmingham Conservatoire in July 2013.

  • Supporting selected recordings not only of Ireland's music but also that of other British composers.

  • Support is given, where possible, to recitals and festivals featuring Ireland's work, and programme notes can be provided.

  • The Trust has commissioned arrangements and editions of Ireland's music by Geoffrey Bush and the late Christopher Palmer.

  • A catalogue of John Ireland works, compiled by Dr. Stewart Craggs, was published by OUP in 1993 (available from the Trust).

  • The Trust maintains a large archive of copy manuscripts, printed music, recordings and memorabilia.

  • All of Ireland's known manuscripts, previously held by the Trust, are available at the British Library and can be consulted there by appointment.

During his lifetime Ireland worked with many publishers and this is reflected in the distribution of his works today, see 'Works'.

  • Early recordings, including interviews with Ireland and the composer as performer, are available at the National Sound Archive, by appointment.

  • Following an approach by the Trust to English Heritage, a 'Blue Plaque' was placed at 14 Gunter Grove, Ireland's London home for many years, in recognition of the composer.


The Trust is registered as a charity. Reg. No. 255004
Trustees: Erwin Mulholland, Graham Parlett, Carol Phillips.

Web design by Sparticle