European Union Youth Orchestra disbanded

European Union Youth Orchestra’s 40th birthday celebrations have gone bad, with the orchestra disbanded due to a lack of funds. EUYO was funded by the EU as a cultural ambassador until 2014, when new rules meant it was no longer eligible for funding.

‘If the EU is not able to help fund its own youth orchestra, an orchestra which is the only organisation in the world that recruits and brings together young people every year from all 28 EU member states in support of the ideals of the Union, then the Orchestra will cease to exist,’ said Marshall Marcus, CEO of EUYO. ‘A sad day for the EU.’

The orchestra includes players from all 28 EU member states, and since 2014 it has been funded by a Creative Europe grant (which in turn is funded by the EU). EUYO were told on 15 April that Creative Europe would not be receiving any further funding from the EU to support EUYO and, as a result, the orchestra will cease operations in September.

The orchestra will go ahead with its summer tour that includes performances at Grafenegg European Music Campus, Slovak EU Presidency concert, Wrocław European City of Culture concert and Alpbach European Forum. More than 3,000 young musicians have worked with EUYO since its formation in 1976.

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