European Union Youth Orchestra

© MUTESOUVENIR | Kai Bienert

Described by the Guardian as having “gripping, exhilaratingly good orchestral playing, surging with energy, laser-sharp focus and collective daring… [and] a technical prowess that is downright terrifying”, the EUYO has been bridge between music colleges and the professional music world for generations of Europe’s finest musicians since its foundation in 1976. The Orchestra has worked with many of the world’s greatest musicians including Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, and particularly its three Music Directors and current Chief Conductor: founding Music Director Claudio Abbado, former Music Director Vladimir Ashkenazy, former Music Director and current Conductor Laureate Bernard Haitink, and Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko. The EUYO now has over 4,000 alumni, selected by the Orchestra’s rigorous, annual audition process conducted in all EU Member States, and many are now notable conductors, soloists, teachers, and instrumentalists working with major orchestras in the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Founded by Joy and Lionel Bryer in 1976, the EUYO has been a Cultural Ambassador for the European Union for more than forty years, and is a truly global brand, having performed in most of the world’s major concert halls and festivals, including the BBC Proms, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein.

European Union
August 21, 2024 8 PM

Konzerthaus Berlin

Gianandrea Noseda

© Tony Hitchcock

The Italian Gianandrea Noseda, born in Milan in 1964, is a sought-after conductor worldwide. Since 2016 he has been chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC; in 2021 he also became general music director of the Zurich Opera, where he has staged Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen over the past two seasons with artistic director Andreas Homoki directing. He regularly conducts the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, appears in New York and Paris and leads orchestras with which he enjoys long-standing relationships, e.g. the BBC Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic. At the Met in New York, he has conducted operas such Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Bizet’s Pearl Fishers and Borodin’s Prince Igor. His discography includes works ranging from Dvořák and Liszt to Casella, Respighi and Dallapiccola as well as Shostakovich and Prokofiev. His special championship of the younger generation is apparent in such engagements as his appointment as founding conductor of the Tsinandali Festival and its youth orchestra in Georgia in 2019.


Nicolas Altstaedt

© Marco Borggreve

Since his highly acclaimed debut with the Vienna Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival in 2010, the German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile musicians of our times, with a repertoire ranging from the earliest times to contemporary music. He has recently appeared with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer and the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Lahav Shani and was artist-in-residence at the SWR Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis. He regularly plays concerts on historical instruments with ensembles such as Il Giardino Armonico and conductors such as René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe and Giovanni Antonini. This season will see his debuts at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Philharmonia Orchestra with Paavo Järvi, the Swedish Radio Orchestra with Maxim Emelyanychev, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with Thomas Adès, as well as a tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In 2012, at Gidon Kremer’s wish, Altstaedt succeeded Kremer as artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival.



“Fate Now Conquers” (2020)


“The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” (1946)


“Don Quixote” Op. 35 (1897)

About the concert

They hail from all the 27 countries of the European Union, and for 25 years, their performances in Berlin have demonstrated their outstanding musical class: the excellent musicians of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO). The who’s-who of great names from the orchestra’s past – from Vladimir Ashkenazy to Bernard Haitink and Herbert Blomstedt – continues with this year’s team: the sought-after conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, who is no stranger to Berlin audiences. Together, they present a programme which plays to the EUYO’s familiar strengths. The evening opens with a composition by the American Carlos Simon of 2020, whose title Fate Now Conquers refers to a note from Beethoven’s diaries. The virtuoso orchestral work that follows is Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – and the same description applies to the evening’s symphonic highlight, the tone poem Don Quixote by Richard Strauss, in which Altstaedt and his cello assume the role of the Knight of the Sad Countenance.

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