02/08/2022 - The EUYO begins a major Summer Tour to Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands with a three-week residency in Lower Austria at its Summer Home and Principal Venue Partner, Grafenegg. Four special Peace in Europe concerts, including one in Grafenegg that will also feature the Austrian première of Nexus by Hannah Kendall will follow as part of a tour with conductors Gianandrea Noseda and Gustavo Gimeno, and soloists Renaud Capuçon, Jae Hong Park and Francesco Piemontesi.
The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) returns to its annual Summer residency in Grafenegg where it will be at home from July 25 to August 7, following a week of rehearsals in Krems.
During the residency there will be Musiclabs on mental health with mental health coach in residence Dinka Migić-Vlatković, and one with the EUYO Management Team leading a workshop exploring the importance of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for tomorrow's professional musicians in Europe.
THE PEACE IN EUROPE CONCERT
As a cultural ambassador for the EU, the Orchestra plays a key role in promoting peace in Europe. Its young musicians embody the EU principle of Unity in Diversity, and offer tangible evidence that the best hope for harmony in Europe is through promoting youth, culture and co-operation.
At one of the most challenging moments for Europe in many decades, the Orchestra launched a Peace in Europe project in March 2022 and has performances in countries across Europe, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic to the border of Ukraine, in concerts dedicated to the cause of peace in Europe, highlighting the plight of victims of violence.
After the first concerts in Italy, Finland and on the sacred island of Delos, Greece earlier this year, the series continues with performances in a number of other European countries during the Summer Tour 2022, including Austria with the 18 August concert in Grafenegg, which will see the presence of ambassadors from various EU, and also non-EU, countries.
EUYO alumnus Gustavo Gimeno, Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg and who was recently appointed to the same role at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, makes his conducting debut with the EUYO in the first concert of 6 August. He will perform with the great violinist Renaud Capuçon, also an EUYO alumnus, who first performed as a soloist with the Orchestra in 2009.
The second concert sees the welcome return of Gianandrea Noseda, Musical Director of the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), one of today’s most sought-after conductors, who has had an enviable relationship with the EUYO since first conducting the Orchestra in 2010. He will be on stage with the rising South Korean star Jae Hong Park, winner of a vast array of international piano competitions.
NEXUS BY HANNAH KENDALL
The EUYO musical programme in Grafenegg features the Austrian première of Nexus by British composer Hannah Kendall, after its world première a few days before in South Tyrol. Originally commissioned in 2020 by the European Broadcasting Union for its 70th anniversary, and as part of the EUYO’s Beethoven’s Mirror project, Nexus presents a fascinating mosaic of sound, interweaving songs from the African diaspora with quotes from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, distilling a variety of musical languages and orchestral textures, and tracing musical roots back in a way that connects Beethoven’s Vienna with the then contemporary anti-slavery movement.
THE MUSICAL PROGRAMME
The rest of the symphonic repertoire features music almost entirely from the opening years of the twentieth century. Igor Stravinsky is featured with the Scherzo fantastique and Sacre du printemps, both written only a few years from each other, yet both inhabiting a very different sound world. The same can also be said of Richard Strauss' imposing Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, and the French repertoire in the two concerts: Ernest Chausson's Poème, Camille Saint-Saëns' Havanaise, and Maurice Ravel’s La Valse and Piano Concerto in G. Only Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini sits outside of this historical period, referring back to Paganini’s early nineteenth century style in a piece composed in 1934.
The Orchestra’s informal free chamber music performances in Grafenegg also offers the opportunity to hear an extraordinary variety of music: from an arrangement of Gioachino Rossini’s witty overture from The Barber of Seville to the radical sounds of Living Room Music by John Cage, the Latin-American Aires Tropicales of Paquito D'Rivera, the plaintive Ukrainian folk song by Edmond Agopian, and music by seven women composers from three continents: Clara Schumann, Jennifer Higdon, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Jenny Peña Campo, Jessie Montgomery, Hannah Kendall and Grazyna Bacewicz.