"The EUYO is a unique Orchestra – their youth, vitality and energy sets them apart, while their ability and enthusiasm results in outstanding performances equal to many of the world’s greatest orchestras."
Bernard Haitink KBE, 2005



The Orchestra is made up of up to 140 players, drawn from all 28 member countries of the European Union. The players are selected each year from over 4,000 candidates aged between 14 and 24, who take part in auditions throughout the EU. The competition is such that current members of the Orchestra have to re-audition along with new applicants each year in order to keep their places.

Once the members have been selected for the year, they are invited to join the Orchestra to rehearse and perform major works by composers including Mahler, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, and Strauss, as well as contemporary repertoire which has included works by Ligeti (who joined the Orchestra as composer in residence on tour), John Adams, Erkki-Sven Tuur, and Arturs Maskats, on international stages all over the world.

Since the EUYO's inaugural tour, which took the players to Amsterdam, Bonn, Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels, Milan and Rome, the EUYO has gone from strength to strength, usually undertaking two long tours each year as well as a number of other important engagements. The Orchestra regularly takes part alongside the world's greatest symphony orchestras in prestigious music festivals including the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw's Robeco Summer Concert Series. In addition to performing to full houses in all the major cities, concert halls and festivals of Europe, the EUYO's outstanding reputation has taken them to China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India, North and South America, Russia and Kazakhstan.

The unique experience that the EUYO provides for its young musicians is not only socially stimulating and culturally englightening, but also invaluable to their future careers. The Orchestra acts as a training ground, bridging the gap between music colleges and the professional music world. The vast majority of EUYO members go on to professional music careers and many have found jobs with Europe's leading orchestras. 

'Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole and Shéhérazade showed, under Gardiner’s sympathetic direction the incredible refinement and tonal subtlety of which these players are capable.’ 

Evening Standard review of the BBC Proms concert, 25th August 2005