Medieval chant for Irish saints from continental Irish Benedictine monasteries
Amra Schola (director Dr Ann Buckley) | Ars Choralis Coeln (director Maria Jonas)

Vienna, Schottenstift
O magnum mysterium’, one of the responsories for the Vigil of Christmas (Christmas Eve) in a fragment from the medieval Irish Benedictine monastery in Vienna, 2nd half of the 12th century

This event is part of a collaboration between the Amra project (led by Dr Ann Buckley, Trinity College Dublin) and an international network of professional ensembles. The project is concerned with reviving the repertoire of chant for Irish saints from the medieval liturgy found today in manuscripts from all over Europe. Amra (pronounced ‘avra’) is an Old Irish term for a eulogy or song of praise, as in the well-known eulogy for St Colm Cille, Amra Choilm Chille.

It is also a cooperation between two European cities, the Irish Capital of Culture Galway 2020, where the premiere will take place as the opening event of the Galway Early Music Festival, and the city of Nuremberg, which is applying for the title Capital of Culture Nürnberg 2025. There, Schottenklöster will be on display as part of the ION Music Festival. Schottenklöster is also part of the large-scale Nuremberg song project SONGLINES:


The programme celebrates St Brigit, St Patrick and St Kilian, some of the saints who were venerated in the Schottenklöster, a network of ten Irish Benedictine monasteries active in Germany and Austria between the late eleventh and fifteenth centuries. The first of these Schotten foundations was established in the late 1000s at Regensburg by the Irishman, Marianus Scotus. Several others followed, including Eichstätt, Erfurt, Konstanz, Memmingen, Nuremberg, Würzburg, Vienna. Along with the regular liturgy, these Irish communities retained their devotion to saints from their homeland. The Vienna house is the only one which still exists.

On this occasion, we feature manuscripts from the Schotten monasteries of St James (St Jakob), Regensburg, St Aegidius (St Egidien), Nuremberg, and Our Lady, Vienna (Benediktinerabtei unserer Lieben Frau zu den Schotten), supplemented with material from Irish sources