What is the European Union Youth Orchestra?

Ahead of this morning’s concert, part of which celebrates 100 years of Polish independence, we introduce the talented young performers of the EUYO…

What is the European Union Youth Orchestra?


What is the European Union Youth Orchestra?


Founded in 1976, the EUYO has since become a key cultural ambassador for the European Union. 

Currently based in London, the orchestra’s players are selected from each of the EU’s member countries and often go on to careers in the world’s most prominent orchestras. Past alumni have moved on to the likes of the London and Boston Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras. 

Notable collaborators over the last 42 years include Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Sir Colin Davis and Daniel Barenboim. The orchestra’s current Chief Conductor is Vasily Petrenko, while its Conductor Laureate is Bernard Haitink.

Despite all of this success and worldwide acclaim – the orchestra has performed the world over – the future looked very uncertain in 2016 when it was announced that funding had dried up and the orchestra would have to cease making music. After a short and high profile campaign by musicians and allies across Europe, the EU pledged to find the required funding and came up with a plan to maintain its budget.

After the UK leaves the European Union in 2019, the EUYO will move operations to Italy and it is likely young musicians from the UK will no longer be eligible to take part in the programme…



What's on at the Proms today?



Prom 49: Sunday 19 August, 11am

Agata Zubel Fireworks (UK premiere)

Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E minor


Seong-Jin Cho (piano)

European Union Youth Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda 


The Prom will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3



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