Open rehearsal – concert by The European Union Youth Orchestra

The European Union Youth Orchestra’s Spring Tour 2014 sees the launch of two significant international partnerships as part of the of the EUYO’s new ‘Towards 2020’.

Partnership Programme
Conducted by Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy,
joined by the critically acclaimed solo cellist Gautier Capuçon
This Spring Tour sees the Orchestra perform three iconic masterworks of the Romantic era under the baton of the Orchestra’s Music Director Vladimir Ashkenazy with Gautier Capuçon, widely recognised as one of the foremost cellists of his generation. Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila is a glittering orchestral tour de force. Dvořák’s cello concerto embodies the same spirit of nostalgia for his native country that permeates so much of Dvořák’s music, with virtuosic solo and orchestral writing full of Czech folk melodies and a plangent modal harmonic palate. Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, embodies the height of luscious, lyrical romanticism that so characterises the music that opens 20th century with famously soaring string melodies, delicate woodwind solos and powerful majestic brass climaxes.

2014 sees the launch of the European Commission’s ‘Creative Europe’, a support programme for Europe’s cultural and creative sectors. ‘Creative Europe’ will help the cultural and creative sectors to seize the opportunities of the ‘digital age’ and globalisation, whilst enabling the sectors to reach their potential so that they can contribute to the Europe 2020 goals for sustainable growth, jobs and social cohesion. In support of these objectives, this year’s Spring Tour sees the European Union Youth Orchestra, the first eminent international Youth Orchestra of all time, begin a residency in Thessaloniki, a proud city with a great history but immense economic and social challenges. This marks the beginning of a long term residency project in partnership with Thessaloniki Concert Halls Organization, “Megaron Musikis”, centred around the slogan ‘Adopt an Orchestra’, aiming for the Orchestra to become sewn into the very fabric of the city and its people, not a luxury add-on on a stage divorced from those people and that city.
The residency begins appropriately enough with open rehearsals, a series of informal performances for families and young people and presentations in two local music clubs, rather than with the fanfare of a conventional launch concert. And in the future, the residency and partnership with the “Megaron Musikis” will take the EUYO’s players out into the city to bring its music and cultural passion to every crevice of the metropolis.    

“At a time of unprecedented global financial turmoil, with all the brutal side effects testing societies’ strength to maintain coherence, the paradigm of such initiatives holds enormous power and aims far beyond the scope of sustaining life on the music platform. I believe that such collaborations may ultimately encapsulate the essence of hope in severely traumatized societies, by inviting them to utilize a “youth orchestra” as a serious tool for guarding their integrity and future.”
George Emmanuel Lazaridis –
Artistic Director, Thessaloniki Concert Halls – The Megaron

Following the launch of the Thessaloniki residency, the Orchestra makes a highly significant debut in the Arab World with a performance at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival. The Abu Dhabi Festival’s 11th edition under this year’s theme ‘Creative Innovation’ is the UAE’s premiere cultural event, bringing the best in international and regional dance, opera, music, and visual arts to the Emirates each year. In ADMAF, under the inspired leadership of its Patron and President H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development, and its Founder H.E. Hoda I. Al Khamis – Kanoo the European Union Youth Orchestra has found new regional friends with a signal belief in the importance of nurturing the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society. To cement this new partnership, Doris Pack, MEP and Chair of the EU Parliamentary Committee for Culture and Education, is present during the Orchestra’s residency in Abu Dhabi as the Official Representative of Martin Schulz, President of the EU Parliament and the EUYO’s Honorary President. In addition, Michel Magnier, Director of Culture and Creativity at the Directorate – General for Education and Culture of the European Commission, joins the Orchestra for the debut concert and to be part of the panel discussion “Riwaq Al Fikr: Cultural Diplomacy”.

“With a mission to unite Europe’s most talented young musicians under internationally renowned conductors, in an ensemble that transcends cultural, social, economic, religious, and political boundaries – all in the common pursuit of musical excellence, the EUYO embodies the ethos and spirit of the Abu Dhabi Festival.”
H.E. Hoda I. Al Khamis – Kanoo, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) Founder
The European Union Youth Orchestra’s Chief Executive, Marshall Marcus,

EUYO Spring Tour 2014 Schedule
Thessaloniki Concert Halls Organization, The Megaron
Monday 17 March, 20:30 – Open rehearsal, informal concert
Tuesday 18 March, 10:00 & 11:30 – Schools concerts
Peter Stark, Conductor
Mikhail Glinka Overture: Ruslan & Lyudmila
Sergei Rachmaninov Extracts from Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
Wednesday 19 March, 21:00 – informal performance at COO Bar, Thessaloniki
Thursday 20 March, 21:00 – informal performance at La Doze Club, Thessaloniki
Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi
Monday 24 March, 20:00
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor
Gautier Capuçon, cello
Mikhail Glinka Overture: Ruslan & Lyudmila
Antonín Dvořák Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104
Sergei Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

The European Union Youth Orchestra
‘among the elite institutions of its kind …’ – the New York Times

The European Union Youth Orchestra is one of the world’s most prestigious and dynamic orchestras, as evidenced by the thousands of fine young musicians, from all 28 European Union Member States, who audition every year for a chance to join the Orchestra. It was founded in 1976 by Lionel and Joy Bryer, providing an exceptional bridge between music colleges and the professional music world for almost 3,000 alumni. A group that includes conductors, soloists, and orchestral musicians from, inter alia, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

For almost four decades, from New York to Nicosia, Seoul to São Paulo, Moscow to Mumbai, the EUYO has partnered with some of the greatest names in classical music including Marta Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Jessye Norman, Mstislav Rostropovich and particularly its three notable Music Directors: Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, and current Music Director Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy. The EUYO is known for its technically challenging repertoire: inspirational works, some wild, some deeply moving.
It comes as no surprise, with such expertise, that the EUYO has received significant international accolades, including the Olympia Prize from the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, the ‘Prix d’Initiative Européenne’, the Grant for Young Artists awarded by The Praemium Imperiale and the ‘European Media Prize’.

The EUYO is evidence to support Aristotle’s notion ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. While the Orchestra fosters exceptional individual talent, one of its founding principles was to demonstrate, through the metaphor of an orchestra, the European ideal of a community working together. Since 1976, the EUYO has been a cultural ambassador for the European Union, nurturing cultural development, communication and leadership skills amongst succeeding generations of Europeans. Appropriately, therefore, the EUYO’s Patrons include the Heads of State and Government of the 28 European Union Member States and the Presidents and Commissioners of the EU, and the Orchestra is supported by funds from all 28 EU Member States, together with the European Union’s own Culture Programme.