European Union Youth Orchestra

European Union Youth Orchestra

The EUYO performs at Young Euro Classic music festival in Berlin, August 2015.
Founded 1976
Location London
Principal conductor Vasily Petrenko
SaveEUYO flashmob in Budapest, May, 2016
SaveEUYO flashmob in Budapest, May, 2016

The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) is a symphony orchestra with members drawn from each of the European Union's 28 Member States. Described by the Guardian as having “gripping, exhilaratingly good orchestral playing, surging with energy, laser-sharp focus and collective daring... [and] a technical prowess that is downright terrifying”,[1] it has provided an exceptional bridge between music colleges and the professional music world for generations of Europe's finest musicians since its foundation in 1976.


Founded by Joy and Lionel Bryer in 1976, the EUYO has been a Cultural Ambassador for the European Union for forty years. 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 worked with many of the world’s greatest musicians including Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Herbert von Karajan, 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 Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko.

A truly global brand, the EUYO has performed in most of the world’s major concert halls, notably at the Royal Albert Hall, the Musikverein, Carnegie Hall and the Boston Symphony Hall. From Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi, Moscow to Mumbai, Seoul to São Paulo - 4 Continents, 43 countries, 177 cities and 224 venues thus far.

The EUYO’s 3,000 alumni have all come through the Orchestra's rigorous, annual audition process conducted in all (currently 28) EU Member States, and many are now notable conductors, soloists, teachers, and instrumentalists working with major orchestras in the world, including 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.

In 2014 the Orchestra embarked on an innovatory partnership programme - Towards 2020 - which brings together eleven cultural and commercial organisations from ten EU countries, and thirty-five associate organisations from Europe and around the globe including Global partners in Brazil, China, India and the US. The project was co-funded by the EU’s ‘Creative Europe’ cultural funding programme in its first phase and aims at 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 involves the Orchestra in innovative training prototypes, performance programmes, digital platforms and audience models, all designed to enable cultural development, career opportunities and audience development strategies that are transferable to other cultural and creative sectors.

On 12 May, 2016 the European Union Youth Orchestra announced that it is to cease operations from September 2016 due to a lack of funding from the European Union.[2] The EUYO did not pass the 2016 competition for funds within the Creative Europe programme. EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics declared that the EUYO's "disappearance would be a great loss".[3]

Music Directors

Orchestra Board

Former Conductors

Among others: Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Antal Doráti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Ivan Fischer, Bernard Haitink, Herbert von Karajan, Rafael Kubelík, Erich Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Gianandrea Noseda, Vasily Petrenko, Kurt Sanderling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Mstislav Rostropovich and Sir Georg Solti.

Former soloists

Among others, the EUYO has performed with Salvatore Accardo, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Emanuel Ax, Teresa Berganza, Yefim Bronfman, Renaud Capuçon, Gautier Capuçon, Kyung Wha-Chung, Diana Damrau, Placido Domingo, Isabelle Faust, Bernarda Fink, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Sir James Galway, Angela Gheorghiu, Matthias Goerne, Susan Graham, Natalia Gutman, Lynn Harrell, Barbara Hendricks, Daniel Hope, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos, Nigel Kennedy, Evgeny Kissin, Christa Ludwig, Radu Lupu, Karita Mattila, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Midori, Shlomo Mintz, Viktoria Mullova, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Jessye Norman, Murray Perahia, Itzhak Perlman, Francesco Piemontesi, Maria João Pires, Mikhail Pletnev, Margaret Price, Maurizio Pollini, Vadim Repin, Ravi Shankar, Arabella Steinbacher, Christian Tetzlaff, Alisa Weilerstein, and Pinchas Zuckerman.


External links

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