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Described by the New York Times as “among the elite institutions of its kind,” the European Union Youth Orchestra unites Europe’s most talented young musicians under some of the world’s most famous conductors, in an orchestra that transcends cultural boundaries and performs globally to the highest international standards.
The EUYO is composed of up to 140 musicians, who are selected every year from among thousands of candidates aged between 14 and 24 from all 27 EU member states. The EUYO tours twice annually and has developed into Europe’s leading pre-professional orchestra: over 90% of alumni go on to professional careers in music.
Joy and Lionel Bryer founded the EUYO in 1976 as a way to represent the European ideal of a community working together to achieve peace and social and cultural understanding. Maestro Claudio Abbado, the Orchestra’s Founding Music Director, established the EUYO as a world-class institution, with the support of its first President, Sir Edward Heath. Claudio Abbado was succeeded as Music Director in 1994 by Bernard Haitink, who in turn was succeeded in 2000 by the EUYO’s present Music Director, Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Throughout its history, the EUYO has acted as a Cultural Ambassador for the European Union, most recently showcasing young Europe’s musical talents in the USA, where it performed with Itzhak Perlman (Carnegie Hall), Pinchas Zukerman (Kennedy Center) and Yefim Bronfman (Symphony Hall, Boston and Northwestern University).
The EUYO’s 2012/13 season – in which it will celebrate 35 years of international touring – will see it perform in leading concert halls and festivals across Europe. In the summer of 2012, the EUYO will give the world première of a composition by Richard Causton, Twenty-Seven Heavens, which has been commissioned to celebrate the London Olympics as part of the PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12 project.
The EUYO is funded with support from the European Union’s Culture Programme and from the 27 European Union member states.
The Orchestra performed at the Stresa Festival in 2010.

savall1The EUYO is funded with support from the European Union's Culture Programme and from the 27 member governments of the European Union