Abaddo's brainchild, the European Union Youth Orchestra to cease operations

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 May 2016

Founded in 1976 by Abaddo, the orchestra worked with many world renowned conductors, including Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert von Karajan, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein

European Union Youth Orchestra
Vladimir Ashkenazy in pre-tour rehearsal with the European Union Youth Orchestra, 2012. At the John F. Kennedy Center (Photo: still from video documenting the tour)

In its fortieth year, the European Union Youth Orchestra announced it will "cease operations from September 2016 due to a lack of funding from the European Union," the orchestra announced on it official website.

EUYO was founded in1976 following a resolution of the European Parliament and for 38 years was supported by the EU as a Cultural Ambassador with supporters from all 28 member states. 

The orchestra reveals that the management was informed on 15 April 2016 that its Creative Europe partnership is no longer in receipt of any funding from the EU.

Since that time the Orchestra has been in regular contact with the EU to attempt to find alternative funding. However, the funding routes so far suggested by the EU do not allow the orchestra to plan any form of secure future.

The EUYO has supported more than 3,000 of Europe’s young and emerging classical musicians since its foundation by philanthropists Lionel and Joy Bryer and conductor Claudio Abbado since 1976.

Abbado was the orchestra's music director from 1976 until 1994. Following Abaddo, other renowned conductors took charge of the opera, including Bernard Haitink (1994-2000), Vladimir Ashkenazy (2000-2015) and currently Vasily Petrenko.

Among the great names who regularly worked with the orchestra were Daniel Barenboim, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Loren Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Georg Solti, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, among others

The decision has provoked sadness and even an outrage among renowned EU musicians, some calling the move a devastating tragedy and a disgrace to the EU cultural community.

Sir John Tusa, the EUYO trustee and co-chair said: “For 40 years the EUYO has been the musical expression of European unity, artistic collaboration and partnership. It is a tragedy that the European Community seems no longer to value such work as a key part of the European project.”

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