Good news reaches us of the return of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO), which has been absent from the classical music landscape for four years.

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The orchestra, which specialises in the performance of works from the Baroque era and is open to young musicians from across the European Union, has been able to return thanks to investment from Italian philanthropic foundation ICONS.

EUBO was created in the UK in 1985, as part of the European Year of Music held to celebrate the 300th anniversary of three great Baroque musicians: Bach, Scarlatti and Handel. For the next 30+ years, it acted as a leading training school in the field of historically informed performance. Indeed, many former EUBO members went on to play in Europe’s leading baroque orchestras, such as Concentus Musicus Wien, Les Arts Florissants, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and others.

The orchestra is completely renewed every year. Auditions take place in spring, with usually around 100 young baroque musicians applying for the 20-25 places. The successful applicants then come together for concert tours which take the talented young orchestra to all corners of Europe. Ton Koopman, Roy Goodman, Enrico Onofri, Rachel Podger are amongst the artists who regularly work with the orchestra.

However, since 2018 and a move to Belgium following Brexit, EUBO has been inactive. Now, in agreement with EUBO founders and former managers, ICONS has brought the orchestra together again, with a base in Italy.
ICONS is already active in this area: it also supports the Theresia Orchestra, an international ensemble made up of musicians under 30 years old, who have graduated from the major European schools of early music 'The mission of ICONS is to support culture in all its forms,' explains Mario Martinoli, co-founder and president of ICONS. 'As an organisation, we share the same values as EUBO, and that is why we have strongly promoted the relaunch of the orchestra in our country – thanks also to the support and enthusiasm shown by the Associazione Musicale Angelo Mariani.'

'ICONS has always been active in the artistic promotion of young musical talents through the support and development of Theresia Orchestra, the flagship of our philanthropic activities since 2012, and EUBO will fit into this same vein of support for international youth artistic excellence.'

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The newly formed EUBO will follow the residential model already used by the Theresia Orchestra, which meets several times a year to prepare programmes for short tours. The orchestra has already come together for a November residency, which culminated in a concert on 28 November at Ravenna's Alighieri Theatre.

Authors

Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.