Matthew Dubourg

Castle of Dublin

Today, our series RISM from A to Z brings us to Matthew Dubourg.

Though there are only 7 works by him in the RISM database, one of those is a digitized copy of his Violin Concerto in D major, for which no published edition had previously existed. For RISM's concert "An Evening of Irish Music" in March 2014, during which we presented the German premiere of the first symphony that was written in Ireland (Paul Alday's Grand Symphony), we also presented another first: the first modern performance of Dubourg's concerto. For this event, our colleague in the RISM Central Office, Alexander Marxen, transcribed the manuscript into a modern edition and it was played by Frank Plieninger and the Junge Sinfoniker Frankfurt:

Matthew Dubourg, Violinkonzert D-Dur. Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Dresden, Mus.2962-O-1 (RISM ID no. 212001507)


It may be downloaded here (PDF), distributed, and performed. You may use the score for non-commercial purposes (CC BY-NC); in these cases, please mention RISM in the program. If you have questions or comments, or if you would like to receive the parts, please contact

The following biography is by Axel Klein and was written for the program:

Matthew Dubourg (1703-1767) was born in London, gave a guest performance as a violin virtuoso in Dublin for the first time 1724, and in 1728 took the office of “Master of the Musick attending his Majesty’s State in Ireland” at Dublin Castle, succeeding John Sigismond Cousser. He remained in this position until 1752. Among his accomplishments, he led the orchestra at the world premiere of Handel's Messiah in 1742 in Dublin. The skill of the strings in Dublin, which Handel once praised in a letter, may be traced to Dubourg's influence. Dubourg composed primarily vocal music; his works for violin were written mainly for his own concert performances. His Violin Concerto in D major is preserved today in the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB). The orchestral score was prepared specifically for this performance.


Photo credit: Castle of Dublin. A drawing of Dublin Castle dating from the early 1800s. Courtesy of Dublin City Public Libraries © Dublin City Library and Archive


Category: RISM A-Z

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