EUYO Spring Tour 2014
President and Co-Founder
It is with immense pride that I welcome you to these celebration concert debuts of the EUYO, in the Arab world and in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki. I’m often asked about the origins of the European Union Youth Orchestra. It’s important to explain that my husband, Lionel Bryer, and I felt passionately that in order for the European Union to survive, it couldn’t simply be about the economics. The European Union needed a heart and soul for its citizens to relate to, and to feel that the Union was also dedicated to helping its youth realise their dreams. Both Lionel and I believed that this great idea had the potential to shape the world and, more importantly, provide jobs. I don’t believe we would have got to where we are today if Lionel and I had been complacent. We were both tireless workers, capable of formidable staying power through the good times and the bad. He was the brains, the thinker, and the amateur musician. I handled the public relations, and was confident I could ‘sell’ our idea and its concept to parliamentarians, Ministers of Culture and to the private sector. As an American educated in Europe, simply put, I felt that no one and nothing could stop us bringing the Orchestra to fruition! The Orchestra’s role is as important today as it was in 1976, if not more so. It unites twenty-eight countries, provides its players with employment in professional orchestras and most of all, delivers a very clear message – culture is the most important part of all our lives. A dedicated family of Europeans, unanimous in their desire to understand how social and capital culture can be nurtured and developed. As Marshall Marcus became the Orchestra’s first CEO in 2013, my role in the day-to-day running of the Orchestra changed significantly. I was honoured to become the President of this unique cultural project (the realisation of all my dreams) and to step away from the superb management team, working with Marshall, who are responsible for the daily, intensive work needed to make the Orchestra great. I now spend my time focusing on the part I most enjoyed – persuading people to part with their funds to support this fabulous project! I find this challenging, but enjoy spreading the word of our work through the media and governments, ultimately influencing the “young leaders of the world”. To our Patrons, the Heads of State and Prime Ministers of the 28 European Union countries, our Honorary and Administrative Committees, we owe a debt of gratitude. I am most grateful to Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou for giving us the opportunity to demonstrate the co-operation of Europe’s youth, and to our Honorary President Martin Schulz, whose support and encouragement are fundamental to our working life. We are delighted to see the relationship between the EU and the UAE further strengthened by the opening of the EU Delegation to the UAE, led by H.E. Ambassador Dr Mihai Stuparu, who arrived in Abu Dhabi at the end of October 2013 for a four-year tenure. We wish him much success. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our esteemed hosts The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF): Patron & President, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development and H.E. Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and Founder & Artistic Director, Abu Dhabi Festival, Yiannis Boutaris, Mayor of Thessaloniki and George Emmanuel Lazaridis, Pianist & Composer and Artistic Director of Thessaloniki Concert Halls. Let us all support the youth of Europe –
THEY ARE THE FUTURE OF EUROPE, AND INDEED THE WORLD!
Taken at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
What is an orchestra? Once upon a time such a question would have elicited the clearest, most immediate of answers – an orchestra being seen as nothing more nor less than a large collection of musicians playing magnificent music written for a grouping of string, wind and percussion instruments. Such an answer must surely now seem too simple. The fact is that in the turn from the old to new century, as our societies have become both more complex and more connected, the concept of a symphony orchestra has become a far more intangible animal to define, let alone fathom. And as this western construct has spread around the globe with astonishing success, from Abu Dhabi to Caracas to Shenzhen and beyond, its power, and also its vulnerability in its old European home, has been both brilliantly paraded and ruthlessly exposed. Legendary composer and conductor Pierre Boulez referred to an orchestra, simply but effectively, as ‘an ensemble of possibilities’. And whilst many have questioned a number of the world’s orchestras as being too arcane, too expensive and too divisive, the fact is that orchestras at their best have turned out to be one of the great metaphors for contemporary society: a shining example of what can be achieved when culture brings us together rather than separates us. Exploring new audiences with innovative forms of concert giving; engaging audiences of all ages with imaginative projects that do not take concert goers for granted; encouraging participation in the process of performance: all of these techniques lie at the heart of the reinvention of the orchestra in the 21st century. So if the orchestra is an ensemble of possibilities, then finally, those possibilities are the potential of what we achieve when we work at levels of excellence, but together.
In such a context the European Union Youth Orchestra, the first eminent international youth orchestra of all time, stands as the quintessential example of the power of coming together. Co-founded in 1976 by Joy and Lionel Bryer, and forged in its early years with the then UK Prime Minister Edward Heath and founding Music Director Claudio Abbado, the EUYO is based on the central ideal that brought the European Union itself into existence: the notion that working together with each other is a better model for society than that of working against each other. So on the concert stage you see the finest young musicians from the twenty eight member states of the EU working in harmony and with the undoubted goal of the highest levels of excellence. A glance at the Orchestra’s biography demonstrates the enormity of what has been achieved by this enterprise in the past thirty eight years: its roll call of great conductors and soloists, as well as its performances around the globe are testament to the power of its vision and the drive of its founders. But the story does not stop there. Considering the challenges outlined above for the orchestras of the 21st century, the EUYO is now in transition towards a future in which it must move forward not only with its tradition, but also with new found innovation. So it is no accident that the current year brings the Orchestra to a spring tour with a residency in Thessaloniki, a proud city with a great history but immense economic and social challenges. 2014 sees, therefore, the launch of a long term residency project in partnership with Thessaloniki’s Megaron Musikis centred around the slogan ‘Adopt an Orchestra’, aiming for the Orchestra to become sewn into the very fabric of the city and its people, not a luxury add-on on a stage divorced from those people and that city. The residency begins appropriately
Photo: © Morley von Sternberg
enough with open rehearsals and a series of informal performances for families and young people, rather than with the fanfare of a conventional launch concert. And in the future, the residency and partnership with the Megaron will take the EUYO’s players out into the city to bring its music and cultural passion to every crevice of the metropolis. Following the launch of the Thessaloniki residency, the Orchestra makes a highly significant debut in the Arab world with a performance at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Festival. In ADMAF, under the inspired leadership of Founder H.E. Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo and Patron and President H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development, the EUYO has found new regional friends with a signal belief in the importance of nurturing the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society. To cement this new partnership, Doris Pack, MEP and Chair of the EU Parliamentary Committee for Culture and Education, is present during the Orchestra’s residency in Abu Dhabi as the official representative of Martin Schulz, President of the EU Parliament and the EUYO’s Honorary President. In addition, Michel Magnier, Director of Culture and Creativity at the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission, joins us for the debut concert and to be part of the panel discussion ‘Riwaq Al Fikr: Cultural Diplomacy.’
Interestingly enough, if one asks from where the inspiration for such projects emanate, the answer can be found in the words – as well as in the support – of the EU leaders in the pages that follow. From the imaginative spur of President Barroso’s New Cultural Narrative to the unwavering backing of President Schulz, and also that of President van Rompuy and Commissioner Ashton, we owe a tremendous debt to all of the figures who drive the European project. But in 2014, surely the energy and determination of these leaders to improve the world through the transformational power of culture is most obviously represented by Commissioner Vassiliou’s new Creative Europe programme, an extraordinarily thoughtful initiative designed to bring people together in cooperation, using culture as an activity to better all of us and engage more of us. So it is that we arrive back at a definition of the orchestra appropriate to our new century, as well as a set of ideals with which to express the future path of the EUYO. With thanks. Welcome to our spring tour.
Marshall Marcus Chief Executive
European Union Youth Orchestra & Budapest Festival Orchestra New Apprenticeship Scheme
As part of the EUYO’s on going commitment to skilling its young musicians and preparing them for work in the professional arena, the EUYO and the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) are delighted to announce an exciting new partnership creating an apprenticeship scheme open to EUYO musicians who will be able to compete to be selected to play for a number of Budapest Festival Orchestra 2014/15 season projects, arranged under the overall direction of Budapest Festival Orchestra Music Director, Iván Fischer. Under the scheme, members from the 2013/14 EUYO and musicians auditioning for the EUYO to become members in the 2014/15 season will be able to apply as apprentices to join the Budapest Festival Orchestra for up to 1012 weeks’ work during the BFO's 2014/15 season.
Founded in 1983 by Iván Fischer and Zoltán Kocsis, the Budapest Festival Orchestra has established itself as one of the ten leading orchestras of the world. It is loved by audiences and praised by international critics for its intensive and emotionally gripping performances. Iván Fischer, as Music Director, has been directing the artistic work of the BFO for thirty years.
Messages of Goodwill
President of the European Parliament Honorary President of the EUYO
More than ever, I am proud to be Honorary President of the European Union Youth Orchestra, which once again really has surpassed itself with such a challenging programme. I am delighted that the EUYO is giving young musicians from across the 28 countries of the European Union the chance to perform together and the public the opportunity to enjoy great music. The conductors who lead the Orchestra and the list of the works performed are truly impressive. The Spring Tour 2014 will start with the Orchestra’s first visit to Thessaloniki, Greece. This choice seems all the more appropriate considering that Thessaloniki was designated European Youth Capital 2014 giving the EUYO the opportunity to engage with the younger local population. The Orchestra then travels to give its debut performance in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, where our young musicians will perform a thrilling programme of popular classics including among other pieces the overture to Mikhail Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmila and Sergei Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2. The tour will be an unforgettable experience for those who will be fortunate enough to attend. I wish you all a very successful tour!
Herman van Rompuy
President of the European Council
I have followed the progress of the European Union Youth Orchestra from its conception as a touring youth orchestra with a well-established cultural premise, to its present day status as pre-eminent cultural ambassadors for the EU. I have watched the Orchestra perform across the globe, and witnessed the effect this organisation has on these gifted young Europeans. As the Orchestra has evolved, so has the world in which it performs. The Europe of today is a far more challenging place than the Europe of 1976, when the European Union Youth Orchestra was founded by Joy and Lionel Bryer. Given the changes in society, these young musicians are arguably no longer afforded the luxury of focusing exclusively on their musicianship, and stage performance. Today, Europe’s young musicians need a more innovative set of skills. The European Union Youth Orchestra assumes the role of longterm tutor and centre for continued professional development. It not only addresses a musician’s technical skills, but also, through an array of outreach initiatives and global partnerships with education groups, music academies and colleges, and professional orchestras, offers Europe’s finest instrumentalists training in new technologies and fosters an entrepreneurial spirit. The European Union Youth Orchestra is an example of an organisation facing the challenges of our time with gusto. Through innovative approaches and partnerships across cultures and national borders it has stood the test of time and today, stands before us all – a pioneer in the classical music field. I encourage the work of the European Union Youth Orchestra and, in particular, wish to pay tribute to these fine musicians who, this spring and in the future, will come together to challenge convention, drive change and promote a world where creativity, the sharing of ideas and cultural interchange prevails. I am optimistic that they will bring positivity to their performances and leave a legacy of goodwill wherever they tour.
Orchestra photo: Peter Adamik
Messages of Goodwill
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High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Vice President of the European Commission
It gives me great pleasure to once again lend my support to the Spring Tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra. The EUYO is a wonderful showcase for talented young people from across the EU. Its reputation for excellence is well deserved and I am sure that this reputation will be further enhanced by this latest tour. It is good to see the Orchestra taking its music to new places. The ‘Adopt an Orchestra’ programme in Thessaloniki is an excellent initiative and I hope that young people in particular will be inspired by what they hear. For me as High Representative, it is good to see the Orchestra giving its first performance in Abu Dhabi, at the Emirates Palace Auditorium. Europe’s links with the Gulf countries are becoming ever more important, and I am convinced that our relationship can and should go beyond political and economic contacts into cultural exchange. I wish the EUYO well in its endeavours, and a great deal of enjoyment to those lucky enough to attend their Spring 2014 performances.
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
The European Union Youth Orchestra is Europe at its best. A community of young talent, speaking many languages, comes together to celebrate our common musical heritage. Demonstrating their excellence, team work and devotion on stages around the world, these young musicians reunite the ages of our old continent; for a few magical moments, Europe and its innumerable stories are joined as one. I am deeply proud of the European Union Youth Orchestra, and wish it every success on its travels this year. And 2014 is no ordinary year. In spring, the EUYO will be visiting a number of places for the first time, starting with Thessaloniki, Greece. As part of a residency in partnership with the Megaron concert hall, the EUYO will open the doors to its rehearsals, revealing some of the mystery behind the magic. Led by its team of distinguished instrumental tutors, rehearsal director Peter Stark will welcome the public in to watch, while a number of informal performances will attract a new audience and launch a friendship with the hall, the city and its people – the ‘Adopt an Orchestra’ project. In a year when Thessaloniki holds the title of European Youth Capital, the EUYO is reaching out to the city’s young people, and offering them a whole new world. EUYO then heads south to give its first-ever performance in the United Arab Emirates, at the Emirates Palace Auditorium in Abu Dhabi. 118 of Europe’s finest young musicians from the 28 countries of the European Union will join the orchestra’s Music Director, Vladimir Ashkenazy, starting with the short but dazzling and technically demanding overture to Mikhail Glinka’s opera, Ruslan and Lyudmila, and culminating in Sergei Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, an emotional masterpiece which has been described as “the epitome of the Romantic symphony”. In the midst of these performances, the Orchestra will also be working with alumnus, Gautier Capuçon, as a soloist for the first time, with the French cellist performing Antonín Dvorák’s Cello Concerto. ˇ
José Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission Head of the EUYO’s Honorary Patrons
The EUYO Spring 2014 Tour presents great opportunities to develop further the marvellous talents that reside in the EUYO and to share a passion for music with new audiences. It will certainly be an exciting tour. From the Orchestra’s first ever visit to Thessaloniki for a residency in partnership with the Megaron concert hall to its first ever visit to Abu Dhabi at the spectacular Emirates Palace. In Thessaloniki, the Orchestra will launch the ‘Adopt an Orchestra’ project, which aims at developing an on going relationship with the Megaron concert hall, the city and its people, notably its young people. This is very timely as Thessaloniki is this year’s European Youth Capital. In Abu Dhabi, its visit will also include some outreach work and a discussion forum covering future collaborations. This is Europe at its best: openness and readiness to listen and embrace others’ ideas to better chart the future. I feel particularly proud to support the EUYO Spring Tour 2014.
Europe has an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage and a vibrant capacity for creativity. We create the stories, sounds and images that fill the pages, screens and exhibition halls the world over. The challenge now is to build on these strengths, carrying them into the digital world. The European Union has launched the Creative Europe programme, offering a budget of almost €1.5 billion – which represents a 9% increase over the previous budget. The programme will support 240,000 European artists, 2,000 cinemas, 800 films and 4,500 book translations. Creative Europe will help the EU cultural and creative sector to operate transnationally; it will help operators to reach new audiences in Europe and beyond; and it will help to strengthen their competitiveness. It will also strengthen transnational policy cooperation in order to foster innovation, audience building and new business models. Creative Europe aims to overcome the barriers limiting creative development across the European Union. It aims at promoting culture for innovation and social inclusion, and at developing new avenues for well-being, new jobs, and economic growth. The programme replaces the previous Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes, and has – for the first time – brought EU funding support for cultural and audiovisual sectors under the same umbrella. It is, therefore, a more transparent “one-stop shop” for all European operators from these sectors.
The Culture sub-programme will continue to support cross-border cooperation projects. We expect that, for the period 2014 to 2020, at least 6,400 cultural organisations will be involved in cooperation projects with operators from other countries. The MEDIA sub-programme offers support schemes along the value-chain, tailored to the different needs of professionals. The aim here is to strengthen the competitiveness of the sector and increase the circulation of European films, TV programmes, web series and games.
Responding to a real need on the ground, we are making it easier for Europe’s cultural and creative operators to obtain bank loans. Thanks to our new loanguarantee facility, which will make available up to €750 million, we are helping financial institutions to better understand how the cultural and creative sectors work. Creative Europe has a strong international dimension. One reason for this is the on going globalisation of the cultural and creative sectors and the need for the professionals to internationalise their activities in order to reach new audiences. Another reason is the European Union’s commitment to the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity, and to increasing cooperation and intercultural dialogue with third countries. To this end, Creative Europe is open – for the first time on equal footing – to the participation of our neighbouring countries, subject to some conditions. Androulla Vassiliou
Orchestra photos: Peter Adamik
Monday 17 March, 20:30 Tuesday 18 March, 10:00 & 11:30
Thessaloniki Concert Hall
Open rehearsal informal concert and schools concerts Peter Stark, conductor Mikhail Glinka Overture: Ruslan and Lyudmila Sergei Rachmaninov Extracts from Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
Monday 24 March, 20:00
Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi
Vladimir Askhenazy, conductor Gautier Capuçon, cello Mikhail Glinka Overture: Ruslan and Lyudmila Antonín Dvorák Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104 ˇ Sergei Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
©2013 Ravello Festival ph. Pino Izzo
Photo: Keith Saunders
EUYO Music Director
One of the few artists to have combined a successful career as pianist and conductor, Russian born Vladimir Ashkenazy inherited his musical gift from both sides of his family: his father David Ashkenazy was a professional light music pianist and his mother Evstolia (née Plotnova) was daughter of a chorus master in the Russian Orthodox Church. Ashkenazy first came to prominence on the world stage in the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw and as
Ashkenazy also holds the position of Music Director of the European Union Youth Orchestra, with whom he tours each year, and Conductor Laureate of both the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He has previously held posts as Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (2009–13), with whom he collaborated on a number of significant recording projects and major international tours. He has
“an artist whose creative life encompasses a vast range of activities and continues to offer inspiration to music-lovers across the world”
first prize-winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1956; since then he has built an extraordinary career, not only as one of the most outstanding pianists of the 20th century, but as an artist whose creative life encompasses a vast range of activities and continues to offer inspiration to music-lovers across the world. Conducting has formed the larger part of Ashkenazy’s activities for the past 20 years. He continues his longstanding relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra, of which he was appointed Conductor Laureate in 2000. In addition to performances with the Orchestra in London and around the UK each season, he tours with them worldwide and has developed landmark projects such as ‘Prokofiev and Shostakovich Under Stalin’ (a project which he also took to Cologne, New York, Vienna and Moscow) and ‘Rachmaninoff Revisited’ (which was also presented in Paris in October 2010). Earlier this year, Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra embarked upon a European tour which included appearances in Essen, Paris, Luxembourg and Mannheim with soloists Evgeny Kissin and Vadim Repin. In September 2014, he will lead the orchestra on an extensive tour of South America with soloists Nelson Freire and Esther Yoo. While conducting takes up a significant portion of his time each season, Ashkenazy maintains his devotion to the piano – these days mostly in the recording studio – where he continues to build his extraordinarily comprehensive recording catalogue. Releases include the 1999 Grammy award-winning Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, Rautavaara’s Piano Concerto No.3 (a work which he commissioned), Bach’s Wohltemperierte Klavier, Rachmaninov’s Transcriptions and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Spring 2013 saw the release of ‘Ashkenazy: 50 Years on Decca’ – a box-set comprised of 50 CDs to celebrate Ashkenazy’s long-standing relationship with Decca Classics. In 2014, Decca also releases a milestone collection of Ashkenazy’s vast catalogue of Rachmaninov’s piano music. also been Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of NHK Symphony Orchestra. He maintains strong links with a number of other major orchestras with whom he has built special relationships over the years, including the Cleveland Orchestra (of whom he was formerly Principal Guest Conductor) and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Chief Conductor and Music Director 1988–96), as well as making guest appearances with many other major orchestras around the world.