European Federation of National Youth Orchestras
Since 1994 the finest national youth orchestras of Europe have been working closely together and have formed an association of 14 pre-professional orchestras known as the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO). Since then the association has expanded to include to date 17 national, 8 international, and 7 cooperating members.
EFNYO's major objectives as an advocacy network are to establish a platform of communication on ensemble and orchestra training and a framework for cooporation projects among its members and further network partners.
The musicians in the orchestras are aged eighteen to twenty-six, and are preparing for a professional career as orchestral musicians. They have in common the vitality and enthusiasm of youth and a lively professionalism with which they perform in concerts throughout Europe. Audiences have come to expect high standards at every concert, for the simple reason that the musicians performing on stage are there to make music at the highest level possible, making each concert a true event. By their very definition, the pre-professional youth orchestras are training the orchestral musicians of the decades ahead. They therefore consider it both a challenge and duty to think about and analyse the constant changes that are taking place in musical life, with the aim of preparing the future generations as well as possible for their professional careers.
European Association of Youth Orchestras
EAYO is a networking organisation for the sharing of information and expertise throughout Europe and beyond. The EAYO founding assembly took place in Zug / Switzerland in November 1990, after two years of 'working sessions' in Newcastle (UK), Heusenstamm (Germany) and Budapest (Hungary). The idea for a European Association of Youth Orchestras was spread by Ole Bjornsen (NSOF, Norway) and Carol Main (NAYO, UK).
Great help in this was also the World Youth Orchestra Conference in Japan (great initiative of Mr. Motoyasu Morishita of the Japan Amateur Orchestras since 1991). This organization was changed into the World Federation of Amateur Orchestras in 1997. All participants were and still are very active in networking and we all enjoyed the exchange of experiences, learning fast from each other.
European Union Baroque Orchestra
The European Union Baroque Orchestra is like no other orchestra: its modus operandi since its foundation in 1985 has been to audition and select new personnel annualy. EUBO’s ephemeral existence makes its concerts special: live performances enjoying all the technical accomplishment of the best young baroque musicians in Europe, allied to an infectious undimmed sense of discovery and enjoyment.
Members of EUBO come from all over the EU to gain performing experience, working together for a season under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Lars Ulrik Mortensen and some of the world’s finest baroque musicians. Ton Koopman, Margaret Faultless, Enrico Onofri, Roy Goodman, Alexis Kossenko, Riccardo Minasi, Paul Agnew, Gottfried von der Goltz and Stefano Montanari have all been guest directors in recent seasons and violinist Rachel Podger and bassoonist Sergio Azzolini will direct EUBO in 2014.
Tours take the talented young orchestra to all corners of Europe – from celebrated city concert halls, to seaside summer festivals, to monasteries nestling in autumnal forests, and to winter celebrations in beautiful churches. And at the centre of these great arcs of European travelling EUBO has established residencies in several cities, most notably as “orchestra-in-residence” in Echternach, Luxembourg, where, with the support of its local partners, it is creating a centre of excellence for baroque music.
EUBO’s touring programme is assisted by sponsorship from The Early Music Shop and the orchestra’s role as a Cultural Ambassador for the European Union is affirmed in perpetuity. Flying the flag for Europe, “EUBO is” as President José Manuel Barroso says, “a perfect symbol of the power of integration, a subtle and potent instrument of harmonisation between people and nations”.
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
When Dame Ruth Railton set out to create the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 1948, not everyone was persuaded of her vision. Fast forward to the 21st century, and this platform for players of outstanding vitality and ability is worldrenowned as a pinnacle of artistic achievement.
NYOGB changes its members each year, bringing new energy, new perspectives and new commitment to classical music. But one thing never changes: the youthful perspective it brings to orchestral playing. Young musicians discover the benefits of collaborating with a vast group of like-minded people, in the process gaining skills and friendships that last a lifetime. And the focus of NYOGB continually expands, especially as it encourages members to connect with other young musicians across the country and share their expertise.
Since 1948, NYOGB has given over 550 concerts and nurtured some 5,000 young musicians. Not all of our former members go on to join the orchestral profession – but we hope it is a life-changing experience for everyone, helping them develop invaluable skills whatever their future careers.
Most recent examples of NYOGB’s impact as a seedbed of artistic excellence include the formative role that our ensemble experience has played in the development and career progression of our Principal Trumpet Players from NYOGB 2009 and 2010, named Assistant Conductor of the Hallé and Principal Trumpet of the Philharmonia respectively, both at just 20 years old. For a long time the production of music leaders has been a side-effect of NYOGB activity. Today, NYOGB recognises that it is one of our most valuable functions. We actively seek to build on this effect, to increase our positive impact.
Gustav Mahler Jugenorchester
The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER was founded in 1986 on the initiative of Claudio Abbado, now its music director, along with Thomas Angyan and Hans Landesmann in Vienna. In addition to fostering young musical talent and working with young musicians, one of their most important concerns was to promote opportunities for young Austrian musicians to play music together with colleagues from the CSSR at that time and Hungary. The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER was the first international youth orchestra to succeed in holding open auditions in the former East Block countries. Auditions have been held in the former CSSR since 1986, in former East Germany since 1988, and in the former Soviet Union as well since 1990. The aim of these auditions was and is to provide highly gifted young musicians with valuable orchestra experience working with great conductors outside their home countries. Encouraged by the political development primarily in Eastern Europe as well as by the international success of the orchestra, more and more young musicians from all over Europe soon became interested in the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER. In 1992 the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER was opened to musicians up to the age of 26 from anywhere in Europe. As the pan-European youth orchestra, it is under the patronage of the Council of Europe.
Today, the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is regarded as the leading youth orchestra in the world. In recognition of its activities the orchestra received the European Orchestra Prize by the European Cultural Foundation in April 2007.
The Young Sound Forum of Central Europe
In the few years of its existence the Young Sound Forum of Central Europe has acquired an exceptional reputation as a young symphony orchestra. The orchestra has been equally recognised for its exciting, unconventional projects and programmes, as well as for its politico-cultural efforts for understanding and reconciliation between Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. The orchestra unites the finest young musicians from the three nations for concerts and projects at historically significant sites and settings of the shared troubled history.
In addition to the classical repertoire, the Young Sound Forum of Central Europe is equally dedicated to fostering contemporary music as well as performing pieces by composers who were ostracised, persecuted and forgotten in the period of National Socialist tyranny. The Young Sound Forum of Central Europe wishes to make a contribution to the understanding and reconciliation between Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany through the power of music. Along with the promotion of outstanding musicians in an international orchestra community, the Young Sound Forum of Central Europe is equally dedicated to promoting and fostering the competence for intercultural dialogue, tolerance and engaged citizenship in the New Europe.