Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Toronto, ON … The outstanding young musicians of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) and the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) are joining forces for the first time for a four-city Canadian tour in November of 2019. This celebration of international musical collaboration and friendship will feature a total of 76 musicians between the two orchestras.
This ground-breaking tour is made possible by the generous support and vision of the Delegation of the European Union to Canada. Peteris Ustubs, Ambassador of the European Union to Canada, comments: “We are delighted to bring the European Union Youth Orchestra to Canada for the first-ever concert tour together with the National Youth Orchestra in Canada. It is wonderful to see young European and Canadian musicians come together, united by their shared love of music. We recognize the transformative force of the arts in our societies; intercultural exchanges, such as this concert tour, have the power to connect people and build bridges of mutual understanding and respect. This tour also reflects the depth of EU-Canada’s friendship and our common commitment to supporting youth and the arts community.”
Viennese conductor Sascha Goetzel will lead the four concerts, which will be presented at Koerner Hall in Toronto (November 12); the Isabel Bader Centre in Kingston (November 13); the Basilique Notre-Dame in Montreal (November 14); and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (November 17). Each of the concerts will be offered at very affordable ticket prices. The programme will include music by Rossini, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, Wagner, and by Canadian composer John Estacio. In advance of this new collaboration, two musicians from NYO Canada will be early ambassadors for Canada, joining their European colleagues for EUYO’s summer tour in Europe.
Additional details on the November tour will be announced the first week of September 2019.
The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada), now celebrating its 59th Season, is the country’s preeminent training orchestra, comprised of 100 gifted musicians between the ages of 16 and 28, who come together each summer to attend an 8-week intensive training institute followed by a national and international tour. This year’s orchestra, featuring musicians from nine provinces, embarks upon its 2019 TD Odyssey Tour this July, led by British conductor Michael Francis for concerts in Ottawa, Montreal, Parry Sound, Stratford, and Toronto, as well as its first tour to Spain. NYO Canada’s concert tours have included every major Canadian city as well as the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 1996, the delegates to the World Youth Orchestra Conference in Tokyo, who represented 39 countries, voted to award NYO Canada the title “Best Youth Orchestra in the World.” Now, the orchestra is the subject of a new feature-length documentary from the National Film Board of Canada. In “That Higher Level,” director John Bolton follows the 100 musicians of NYO Canada over the course of two months to capture the essence of the training institute and, eventually, the journey and performances on tour across the country. View the trailer here.
The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) is one of the world’s preeminent symphony orchestras and has been a Cultural Ambassador for the EU for more than forty years. Described by the UK Guardian as having “gripping, exhilaratingly good orchestral playing, surging with energy, laser-sharp focus and … a technical prowess that is downright terrifying”, and by EU commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as “the best possible ambassador for the European Union”, the EUYO has worked with many of the world’s greatest musicians including Founding Music Director Claudio Abbado, former Music Director Vladimir Ashkenazy, Conductor Laureate Bernard Haitink, and Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko. Recent awards include the European Orchestra Award in Dresden, and Cultural Diplomat of the Year Award at the Abu Dhabi Culture Summit. Recent tours have taken the Orchestra to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, the UK, Brazil, China, UAE, Oman and Uruguay, with future invitations to Canada and Cuba. The Orchestra’s legal seat is in Italy and the EUYO is resident orchestra at its summer home and principal venue partner Grafenegg in Lower Austria. The EUYO is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, and by the (currently 28) Member States of the European Union.
The Delegation of the European Union to Canada was established in 1976 and is a fully-fledged diplomatic mission and, as such, the natural contact point in Canada between the EU and the Canadian authorities. It also has a strong public diplomacy mandate designed to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the European Union as well as EU-Canada relations.