July 30th, 2021

Media release / July 27th, 2021

From the stage to the square: for two and a half weeks, Young Euro Classic transforms Konzerthaus Berlin and the Gendarmenmarkt square into the heart of living orchestra culture. From July 30 to August 15, Berlin will be able to experience maximum classical music enjoyment, even under conditions dictated by the pandemic. In 17 concerts, young orchestras, mainly from Europe, present a rich programme of demanding orchestral music. Almost a third of these are broadcast live on Gendarmenmarkt, using innovative 3D sound technology ensuring an immersive listening experience – just like sitting inside the hall.

“We derived the central programming idea from these external restrictions,” says Dieter Rexroth, artistic director of the festival. “On the one hand, we concentrate on Europe, the original core of our festival. On the other hand, we have shifted the focus to the essential phase in the development of classical music, to a repertoire of symphonic music using Beethoven’s orchestral forces. The wealth of this repertoire is enormous! We have composers on our playbills you would have sought in vain during past years.”

“In 2021 musicians bear a greater risk than usual,” explains Gabriele Minz, general manager of Young Euro Classic. “Special rehearsal conditions, volatile travel rules, complex prevention measures like regular testing etc. – all that requires an enormous level of flexibility. We are impressed and grateful for the willingness of the youth orchestras to accept every new change as a shared challenge. This demonstrates how important joint music-making and such performance opportunities are.”

This longing for encounters also inspired the festival to present the Young Euro Classic Orchestra Germany-France in its opening concert, reviving the tradition of bi-national orchestras at Young Euro Classic. Organized in cooperation with the German Bundesjugendorchester and the Orchestre Français des Jeunes, its talented young musicians appear with the Polish conductor Marzena Diakun, a resident of France, and the violinist Hyeyoon Park as a soloist, performing a festive programme on opening night.

Traveling from far afield remains difficult, so that it is mainly youth orchestras from Europe – for example from Greece and Romania, as well as direct neighbours such as the Wiener Jeunesse Orchestra from Austria and Jong Metropole from the Netherlands – who perform. Ensembles such as Hugo Ticciati’s O/Modernt Next Generation Orchestra, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, the LGT Young Soloists and the Moritzburg Festival all have an international cast of musicians. At “Classic meets Jazz”, the Pacific Quintet, the vocal ensemble In June and the Clara Haberkamp Trio from Berlin meet. National German fixtures such as the National Youth Ballet and the National Youth Orchestra round out the programme. The longest journey has been that of the Orquesta del Lyceum de La Habana, which performs with Sarah Willis of the Berlin Philharmonic.

“After so many months without performances and opportunities to share the music we love, I can imagine nothing better than to be part of this exciting programme together with my friends in the LGT Young Soloists. I feel honoured and am sure it will be unforgettable for all of us,” says the young violinist Elif Ece Cansever.

Programme changes necessitated by the pandemic

Instead of the orchestras whose travel has become impossible because they are from high incidence areas, Young Euro Classic offers high-carat alternatives: Ensemble Mini makes large scores resound with small forces, performing with the celebrated soprano Marlis Petersen (Aug 2); the c/o chamber orchestra (Aug. 3) treads pre-symphonic paths with Britten and Brahms; and the Russian-German Music Academy (Aug. 12) enriches the programme by a Russian facet and even offers a German premiere.

Composers Award rethought

Young Euro Classic considers itself a platform for international contemporary music and honours it via the European Composers Award, which has been awarded since 2000 by the State of Berlin, based on the decision of an audience jury. Given the existential threats posed to cultural life by the coronavirus, the prize will be divided this year among all those composers whose works have had their world premiere or German premiere at the festival.

For the youngest: Next Generation

The Next Generation summer workshops from July 28 to August 6, children and teenagers aged 6 to 18 have the opportunity to enjoy low-threshold classical formats offered by the Berlin Puppet Philharmonic, the binational project of the German-French Junior Academy (Aug. 8) and a reading with high school students entitled “Europe – My Home? My Future?” (Aug. 15) – the festival thereby continues its successful programmes for the youngest audience members.

Pulling together for music

Without the support and trust of our long-term partners, planning this edition of Young Euro Classic would have been unthinkable: the special format of the open-air broadcasts was enabled by extraordinary efforts from the Berlin Senate’s Department of Culture and Europe together with the initiative DRAUSSENSTADT and the LOTTO Foundation. Furthermore, the festival thanks the Federal Government, the State of Berlin and the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the KfW Bankengruppe and the Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken, the German-French Youth Association, the GVL, its media and other partners – and its many donors.

Young Euro Classic takes place in close and fruitful cooperation with the Konzerthaus Berlin, which organizes the necessary framework for safe events, in keeping with Berlin’s Hygiene Rules for Cultural Institutions.

All measures can be found at:

At a glance:

Tomorrow’s Musicians Today!
Young Euro Classic, the festival of the world’s best youth orchestras
July 30 – August 15, 2021 at the Konzerthaus Berlin

Comprehensive information, the current programme, tickets and hygiene rules:

Livestreams on Gendarmenmarkt
August 5-9, 2021
Mandatory registration via:

Next Generation – the Education programme at Young Euro Classic

28.07. – 06.08.2021    Summer Workshop Week       

08.08., 11 am               German-French Junior Academy

08.08.2021, 3 pm        Intergalactic Fun with IO

15.08.2021, 4 pm         Europe – My Home? My Future?

Literature project & reading with Boris Aljinovic, Olivia Marei and texts by students from Berlin

Information & Registration:

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