European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO)

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About European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO)

EUYO unites Europe's most talented musicians in a world-class orchestra that transcends cultural boundaries and performs all over the world

Vision & Origins: The EUYO exists to bring together the European Union's most talented young musicians in an orchestra that transcends social, economic, religious and political boundaries, in the common pursuit of musical excellence and cultural understanding. The Orchestra was founded in 1976 by Joy and Lionel Bryer, together with Founding Music Director Claudio Abbado and the former UK Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, in support of the ideals of the EU that culture, education and international understanding ought to be essential aspects of all European lives, and to help produce tomorrow’s musical leaders in Europe. Biography: Auditioning the best young musicians from every EU Member State in a rigorous process every year that takes several months to complete, the EUYO has provided an exceptional bridge between music colleges and the professional music world for almost 3,000 alumni - since 1976. The Orchestra’s alumni are now notable conductors, soloists and teachers, as well as instrumentalists in most major orchestras in the world, including amongst others, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The EUYO’s Summer Home and Principal Venue Partner is Grafenegg, where in 2014 both organisations launched the European Music Campus. The EUYO has appeared in most major festivals and concert halls around the world, undertaking large-scale tours and an increasing number of year-round events. From Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, New York to Nicosia, Seoul to São Paulo, and Moscow to Mumbai, the EUYO has partnered with some of the greatest names in classical music including Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Jessye Norman, Mstislav Rostropovich and particularly its three Music Directors and current Chief Conductor: Founding Music Director Claudio Abbado, former Music Director Vladimir Ashkenazy, former Music Director and current Conductor Laureate Bernard Haitink and recently appointed Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko. The EUYO’s Honorary Patrons include the Heads of Government of all of the EU’s Member States, and the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament. Parliament President Martin Schulz is the EUYO’s Honorary President. The Orchestra has received continuous support from the EU and its cultural programmes, and all the Member States of the EU, helping it to travel the world as an ambassador for the European Union and its member countries. Today’s Context - Towards 2020 : Europe today faces major challenges including economic, social and political upheavals. The EUYO is responding to this situation with an innovatory partnership programme – Towards 2020 – to marry its distinguished tradition with today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. The Towards 2020 (T2020) project brings together a partnership of nine cultural and commercial organisations from seven EU countries, and thirty associate organisations from Europe and around the globe. The project, co-funded by the EU’s Creative Europe cultural funding programme, is establishing a new model to skill talented young orchestral musicians from all 28 EU member states in a manner that responds to the changing needs of 21st century audiences and society. T2020 is based on an innovatory training prototype, performance programme, digital platform and audience model, all designed to enable cultural development, career opportunities and audience development strategies that are transferable to other cultural and creative sectors. Current T2020 initiatives include apprenticeship schemes with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, a global exchange programme in Brazil and the USA, the ‘Adopt an Orchestra’ residency in Thessaloniki, the European Music Campus in Grafenegg, Austria, Spazio Klassik in Bolzano, the ‘Urban Remix’ project in Brussels, a new family of alumni teachers, entrepreneurship workshops, and help in developing regional and national youth orchestras in countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Slovakia. The EUYO is thus preparing its players for the future with new approaches to teaching, new approaches to engaging audiences, and a strategy that marries the best of its performance tradition with inspiring opportunities for digital and artistic innovation.

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