It’s just unbelievable: From 1 September 2016 the European Union Youth Orchestra will cease operations due to a lack of funding from the European Union.

The EUYO, founded in 1976 following a resolution of the European Parliament, was supported by the EU as a Cultural Ambassador for 38 years, between 1976 and 2013. The decline began in 2014, when a change in the EU’s cultural funding policy meant that the Orchestra was no longer funded by the EU. Funding was only available for projects under the EU’s new Creative Europe programme. Representation was made at the time that this method of funding could not sustain the Orchestra, and that the proposed funding method was inappropriate. With no other option, the Orchestra applied to Creative Europe, and from 2014-15 the Orchestra received some funding under the new Programme.

The EUYO was informed on 15 April 2016 that its Creative Europe partnership is no longer in receipt of any funding from the EU. Since that time the Orchestra has been in regular contact with the EU to attempt to find alternative funding from the EU. However the funding routes so far suggested by the EU do not allow the Orchestra to plan any form of secure future.

Especially considering the high visibility of many agreed performances this summer – such as the Grafenegg European Music Campus, the Slovak EU Presidency concert, the Wroclaw European City of Culture concert and the Alpbach European Forum – the Trustees of the Orchestra have come to the conclusion that it would be harmful to the long term interests of the Orchestra, and of the EU, for the summer 2016 tour to be cancelled. They have therefore decided to take responsibility for the forthcoming tour, and together with the EUYO’s Residency Partners, to find the monies required to permit this year’s tour to proceed. The Summer 2016 tour is thus assured.

The EUYO has supported more than 3,000 of Europe’s young musicians since its foundation by philanthropists Lionel and Joy Bryer and conductor Claudio Abbado in 1976. It has been conducted by the most renowned conductors.  The disbanding of this institution is just a catastrophe, an enormous cultural disaster and a big, big shame for the leaders of the European Union.




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