40th Anniversary Tour

European Union Youth Orchestra’s 40th Anniversary Tour, a testament to the EU’s ideals of pan-European youth, music and excellence

  • 40th anniversary celebration tour based around two major symphonic programmes of Bruckner & Mahler;
  • Launch of ‘Capital Sounds’ project, taking the EUYO to every EU capital city in the coming years;
  • 3rd edition of the European Music Campus – a unique partnership with Grafenegg Festival;
  • First concerts with Vasily Petrenko as EUYO Chief Conductor;
  • Return of Bernard Haitink as EUYO Conductor Laureate;
  • International soloists Katia and Marielle Labèque, Julian Rachlin, Lorenza Borrani, Paul Watkins, Kai Frömbgen, and Stefan Schweigert;
  • 11 formal concerts, 4 Music Labs, a programme of pop-ups, flashmobs, chamber music, and informal audience development projects;
  • 167 of Europe’s finest classical musicians from more than 28 countries;
  • 20 expert international tutors with 17 performances in 7 different countries: in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Netherlands;
  • National guest performers: Duo Scaramouche, I, CULTURE Orchestra, Vision String Quartet, The Leerorkest and Slovenský Mládežnícky Orchester

The EUYO’s 40th Anniversary Tour features programmes built around two pinnacles of the orchestral symphonic tradition: Bruckner and Mahler. Vasily Petrenko gives his first concerts as the EUYO’s new Chief Conductor in performances of Mahler’s titanic first symphony, and Bernard Haitink, recently appointed as the EUYO’s Conductor Laureate, conducts Bruckner’s majestic seventh symphony. The programmes include Philip Glass's recently premiered Concerto for Two Pianos, commissioned for, and performed by, Katia and Marielle Labeque, and a quartet of soloists - including EUYO alumni - performing Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante.

To commemorate its 40th year, the European Union Youth Orchestra will begin its ‘Capital Sounds’ project. ‘Capital Sounds’ will be composed of 28 events in the coming years, each event a performance in a different EU capital. The events will include a keynote speech by a significant cultural figure of that country, a concert featuring the EUYO, and performances by young people - separately curated in each country - to reflect the musical tradition of that country. The ‘Capital Sounds’ project is presented in association with the music agency Askonas Holt, and is being developed jointly with the EUYO’s network of 28 National Associate Partners and 28 grant-giving organisations in all the EU’s member states. It launches in Bratislava on 7 August 2016, in a joint celebration of the EU Presidency and the 40th anniversary of the Orchestra’s founding.

A vitally important element in this celebration will be the opportunity for each country of the EU to celebrate its own cultural identity within the EU as part of ‘Capital Sounds’. The keynote address by a cultural or political leader from the host country will contextualise that country’s cultural place and identity within Europe and the EU. Each address will be followed by a performance by the EUYO and a short performance by a group of young players from within the host country, culminating in them joining the EUYO in a concluding encore composition. The five ‘Capital Sounds’ concerts in 2016 will include national guest performers and guest speakers, recognising and advocating the countries’ cultures and individualities. Summer 2016 will see national guest performers join the Orchestra as part of the ‘Capital Sounds’ project, including acclaimed Slovenian piano duo, Duo Scaramouche, the established I, CULTURE Orchestra composed of young musicians from Poland as well as Eastern Partnership member states. In addition, Germany’s Vision String Quartet, winners of the 2016 Mendelssohn Prize, ‘El Sistema’-inspired Dutch Leerorkest and the newly formed Slovenský Mládežnícky Orchester.

167 young classical musicians convene in Grafenegg, Austria for the EUYO’s residency at the Orchestra’s Summer Home and Principal Venue PartnerGrafenegg Festival. This coincides with the third edition of the European Music Campus – a project jointly curated by the EUYO and Grafenegg. A carefully designed series of Music Labs, Open Rehearsals, Chamber Music, Side-by-Sides, Late Night Sessions and the on-going development of a younger European Music Campus Orchestra form the base for what has become one of Europe’s most dynamic and developed music education hubs for classical musicians. This year, Tom Service - internationally acclaimed classical music journalist, radio presenter and author, John Kieser - Executive Vice President and Provost at New World Symphony, are joined by professional musicians: Pavel Kuzmichev (Wiener Philharmoniker), Paul Richards (London Philharmonic Orchestra), Raymond Munnecom (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) and Neil Percy (London Symphony Orchestra) addressing topics including ‘Bruckner and Mahler’, ‘The Digital Musician’ and auditions. This year, the European Music Campus and the EUYO’s residency is supported by 20 professional musicians and tutors from leading orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Det Kongeligne Kapel, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra as well as from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Royal Academy, the Royal College of Music, and the Royal Northern College of Music, England.

This summer’s tour sees the European Union Youth Orchestra perform Mahler’s first symphony under the baton of EUYO Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko, and EUYO Conductor Laureate Bernard Haitink will guide the Orchestra in a performance of Bruckner’s seventh symphony. Summer 2016 sees Mahler paired with a contemporary composition by Philip Glass: Concerto for Two Pianos is performed by Katia and Marielle Labèque. The EUYO’s tour repertoire is a marriage of tradition with innovation – an expression used to expound EUYO’s artistic values. Summer Tour 2016 repertoire includes 41 individual pieces from composers such as Anderson, Copland, Reich, alongside giants of the classical music world: Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss.

Following the Orchestra’s recent funding campaign, this 40th anniversary tour is a living testament to all those who pronounced their on-going support for continued financial commitment from the European Union, to sustain a legacy that transcends generations of Europe’s finest classical musicians and promises to develop and support future leaders of the orchestral sector.

On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, Marshall Marcus, EUYO CEO poses a question that will define the Orchestra’s role in the years to come: “as the world changes, increasingly complex, progressively more connected, how can the EUYO best be of service, developing its role as a tangible beacon of the EU’s finest ideals during such an undeniably testing time for Europe?” This Summer Tour 2016 is a milestone on the EUYO’s journey as it responds to this question.



For all press enquiries, please contact EUYO’s Development & Communications Manager:

Charlotte Hamilton, charlotte@euyo.eu