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EU brings youth orchestra back from the brink

June 2, 2016

The EU Youth Orchestra has been saved at the last minute with the EU announcing its renewed support. Threatened with closure after its funding was withdrawn, the orchestra's future was secured with "creative solutions."

Simon Rattle conducts the Youth Orchestra in Berlin, (c) picture-alliance/dpa/Bildfunk/S. Hoppe
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Bildfunk/S. Hoppe

The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), in danger of packing up its instruments for good this summer after its EU funding was withdrawn earlier this year, has been saved by a last-minute decision by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

In a statement in May, the EUYO announced that its Creative Europe partnership had been canceled, leaving it with no choice but to "cease operations on September 1."

But on Wednesday (01.06.2016), Juncker's spokesperson announced that he had asked the responsible commissioners and the European Parliament to come up with an "immediate solution" to allow the orchestra to continue.

"Today, I am happy to announce that we have found a solution, which will allow the European Union Youth Orchestra to continue in 2016 and 2017 and even beyond," said Juncker in a statement. "Together we have shown that we can find creative solutions by overcoming bureaucratic procedures when something is in the interest of our citizens."


Since announcing its impending closure, musicians across Europe had rallied to the cause, tweeting their support and staging musical protests calling on the EU to continue supporting the orchestra.

The EUYO, a training orchestra for up to 140 talented young musicians from all 28 EU countries, has been funded by the European institutions since it was founded in 1976.

It has been led by a number of world-renowned conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein and Simon Rattle.

cmk/kbm (dpa, KNA)