Today, the European Union Youth Orchestra announced its 2014/2015 orchestra of 140 players – drawn from all 28 EU Member States. Over 3,000 of Europe’s finest young musicians auditioned for a place in this year’s orchestra, which tours internationally twice annually. With most players aged between 19 and 25, the European Union Youth Orchestra has acquired a reputation, over almost forty years, as Europe’s leading youth orchestra, performing under the baton of current Music Director, Maestros Vladimir Ashkenazy, and previous Music Directors Claudio Abbado and Bernard Haitink.

The players will come together for a six-week summer tour, which will see them perform in some of Europe’s finest concert halls, including Grafenegg in Austria, the EUYO’s Summer Home and Principal Venue Partner, the Royal Albert Hall in London, as part of the 120th BBC Proms season, and The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. As would be expected of Europe’s preeminent youth orchestra, the repertoire this summer is technically and emotionally demanding. With expert direction from Maestros Semyon Bychkov and Vasily Petrenko they face the challenge of Shostakovich’s epic 4th Symphony and Luciano Berio’s iconic 1960s masterpiece Sinfonia, along with other 20th century repertoire by composers as varied as Prokofiev, John Adams, Bernstein, Gershwin and Jörg Widman.

Former Music Director Bernard Haitink described Shostakovich’s 4th as "An incredible monster in many ways, and quite a strain…, with the sheer volume of sound, and that first movement alone lasting nearly half an hour.” “It is incredibly powerful and moving… At times, impossible to play loud, because it's already louder than loud. There are huge passages of immense struggle”. The EUYO musicians, some as young as 16, will no doubt approach the piece with their usual dynamism and musical gusto.

The European Union Youth Orchestra is one of the world’s most prestigious and dynamic orchestras, as evidenced by the thousands of fine young musicians, from all 28 European Union Member States, who audition every year for a chance to join the Orchestra.
It was founded in 1976 by Lionel and Joy Bryer, providing an exceptional bridge between music colleges and the professional music world for almost 3,000 alumni. A group that includes conductors, soloists, and orchestral musicians from, inter alia, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.


Mathieu van Bellen, a violinist from The Netherlands who has been invited as guest Concert Master this year cannot disguise his enthusiasm, "I feel honoured to be part of the EUYO again, this time as Concert Master. I always tell my friends about the first experience I had with the Orchestra, sitting down as an 18 year old in the rehearsal hall in Bolzano on the 10th desk of the first violins, and playing Mahler's 5th Symphony with Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting. I cannot wait to return, playing with the great conductors Maestro Semyon Bychkov and Vasily Petrenko surrounded by the great spirit of the EUYO!"


A full list of the new Orchestra Members can be found here