Summer Tour 2021

The EUYO returns to live concerts with a tour to Austria, Germany and Italy featuring EUYO Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko, conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, soloists Alban Gerhardt and Jess Gillam, 17 international tutors, cellist Maya Fridman, mental health coach in residence Dinka Migić-Vlatković, and debates as part of the EU’s Conference on the Future of Europe





In normal years, the EUYO gathers at least 120 players for its concerts, but due to rules on social distancing in 2021, a number of venues are allowing no more than around 70 musicians on stage. The EUYO has therefore decided exceptionally to tour two separate EUYO Orchestras of approximately 70 players, both orchestras meeting together to begin the summer work with a digital preparation week in July.

The first group, named Orchestra Claudio after EUYO Founding Music Director Claudio Abbado, will work with conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and cellist Alban Gerhardt. As Orchestra Claudio finishes, the second, Orchestra Joy, named in honour of EUYO Founding President Joy Bryer, will be conducted by EUYO Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko with saxophonist soloist Jess Gillam. The EUYO is proud to have the depth of membership possible to allow it to offer training and performance to so many talented young players. 


An online preparation week followed by physical residencies in Grafenegg and Bolzano will give the two groups the opportunity to work with EUYO Rehearsal Director Peter Stark and 17 expert international instrumental tutors. At Campus Grafenegg, Music Labs that foster an innovative immersive form of work will see the renowned cellist Maya Fridman lead EUYO musicians into the fascinating world of improvisation, helping them to develop their own musical language and artistic vision. The EUYO’s first ever mental health coach in residence, Dinka Migić-Vlatkovićwill help the musicians with mental preparation, alleviating stress and stage fright. The mental health of young musicians is rightfully gaining increased attention, and as part of the EUYO’s new sustainability programme, players will be encouraged to articulate and focus on this area of their work.  

The Orchestra begins a new long term project with Grafenegg, working with the Lower Austrian Music Schools to encourage music making for young people, and finally, in both Grafenegg and Bolzano, EUYO musicians will take part in preparatory talks for the Conference on the Future of Europe, an initiative from the European Commission and the European Parliament to encourage citizens to take the lead in debates exploring what kind of Europe we all want to live in, and to further the ability of all of us in society to build solutions together.



Six symphonic concerts and one late night informal event form the core of the Summer Tour 2021 public performances. These events see the EUYO returning to its Summer Home in Grafenegg to perform two concerts in Grafenegg’s astonishing outdoor Wolkenturm, in Italy for two concerts in Bolzano’s Teatro Comunale/Stadttheater, a concert in Hamburg’s stunning Elbphilharmonie, and a late-night event featuring the EUYO Percussion and Brass ensembles in Grafenegg’s Reitschule.



The EUYO’s summer repertoire is based around symphonies by Brahms and Sibelius. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Elgar’s lyrical Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor with soloist Alban Gerhard, and Johannes Brahms’ poetic Symphony No. 3 in F major.

The second part of the tour will see Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz: Overture, one of Weber’s most fantastic and popular orchestral works, open the programme, followed by Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances for Soprano Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra, a piece composed in 1991 as one continuous movement with Nyman’s unmistakable trade mark energy, alternating with Alexander Glazunov’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra in E-flat major, the composer’s last work. Jean Sibelius’s iconic Symphony No. 2 in D major closes the programme.


This is a moment for all artists to show resolute determination to return to the stage”, said EUYO Secretary General, Marshall MarcusAt the EUYO, we are delighted to play our part, bringing music back into the lives of Europeans. With our indefatigable young musicians and our distinguished guest artists we have a programme for the summer that will raise the flag for youth, music, Europe, and the undeniable value of working together”.



143 EUYO members

Including musicians from all 27 EU member states

17 Tutors

with an international breadth of experience in the music industry

7 Concerts in 3 Venues

Grafenegg 7/8  & 19/8, Bolzano 9/8 & 17/8 and Hamburg 21/8

2 Conductors

Pablo Heras-Casado and EUYO Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko

2 Soloists

Cellist Alban Gerhardt and Saxophonist Jess Gillam

2 Musiclab teachers

Cellist Maya Fridman and mental health coach in residence, Dinka Migić-Vlatković