The Festival takes place at Konzerthaus Berlin from August 4 to 27, 2023
For the 24th time, Young Euro Classic is the face of classical music in summertime Berlin this August. A transcontinental “upbeat” featuring wonderful orchestras from Asia, Cuba, the USA and Germany is followed by performances by outstanding European ensembles before the festival of the world’s best youth orchestras offers a special highlight: “Courage in Concert”, a festival-within-the-festival, brings young musicians from the Ukraine and three of “war’s neighbours” (Estonia, Georgia and Uzbekistan) to Berlin. The title says it all: music means encouragement.
On the first four Festival evenings, Young Euro Classic straddles three continents: the Asian Youth Orchestra unites young artists from China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and others and collaborates with cellist Alban Gerhardt for an inspiring opening night (Aug. 4). A special highlight follows on Aug. 5, when the German Bundesjugend-orchester teams up with the Lithuanian accordion virtuoso Martynas Levickis, who takes the solo part in Daniel Nelson’s latest piece, “Ghost Machine”. The trumpet star Sean Jones leads NYO Jazz from the USA, performing on Aug. 6 with world star Dee Dee Bridgewater. And after its two celebrated concerts in 2021, the Orquesta del Lyceum de La Habana celebrates a dazzling reunion with horn player Sarah Willis on Aug. 10.
In the summer of 2023, the second concert cluster belongs to the Europeans. This opens with the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 11 under the baton of Dionysis Grammenos. In addition to works by Brahms and Liszt, the unusual solo instrument is the trombone, of which Achilles Liarmakopoulos is a virtuoso practitioner. Further orchestras from South-Eastern Europe are the Western Balkans Youth Orchestra, which brings the magical sounds of its home region to the Konzerthaus on Aug. 12, and the National Youth Orchestra of Romania under the baton of its chief conductor Cristian Mandeal, with the Poulenc Double Piano Concerto as a rarely-performed highlight, on Aug. 13.
Things turn pan-European with the European Union Youth Orchestra, which is led by Manfred Honeck on Aug. 16 in a programme ranging from James MacMillan to Prokofiev and Shostakovich. This is followed by the Norwegian Ungdomssymfonikerne, celebrating their 50-year anniversary in 2023 with a performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and a specially-commissioned companion piece on Aug. 17.
From the Netherlands come two Festival debuts: on Aug. 18 the Jong Metropole Symphonic Jazz Orchestra offers a swinging programme dedicated to crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole. Another intriguing newcomer is the Concertgebouworkest YOUNG from Amsterdam, founded in 2019, which performs under the renowned Colombian conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada on Aug. 25.
Two audience favourites must not be forgotten: on Aug. 23, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester is led by the outstanding Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. The German Bundesjugendballett makes its eleventh Festival appearance on Aug. 26, presenting its programme “Our Songbook”, developed in cooperation with the South African Eoan Group School of Performing Arts.
Young Euro Classic 2023 is crowned with a German-French commemoration of the 60-year anniversary of the Élysée Treaty: on the evening of Aug. 27, the Orchestre Français des Jeunes makes a long-awaited return with a dazzling programme of Hartmann, Ravel and Tchaikovsky. Earlier that day, the German-French Junior Academy presents a matinee concert by children for children.
The NEXT GENERATION programme’s hands-on offers and workshops encourage children and teenagers to discover music in a playful way: this year, the Young Euro Classic Children’s Day takes place on Aug. 13.
The German-French Junior Academy brings together children from Berlin and Pau in the South of France for the third time: a cooperation initiated by Young Euro Classic between the Paul Hindemith Music School in Neukölln and the youth orchestra El Camino Pau features a two-week rehearsal phase in Berlin culminating in a performance at the Konzerthaus’ main auditorium on Aug. 27.
“Courage in Concert” – A Festival within the Festival
For more than twenty years, Young Euro Classic has stood for cultural exchange, European values and peaceful coexistence. In these times of war in Europe, the Festival once again rises to the challenge of strengthening the young generation of musicians, inviting youth orchestras from Ukraine and three of “war’s neighbouring countries”, Estonia, Georgia and Uzbekistan, to a festival within the festival. The title “Courage in Concert” is programmatic – encounter formats, musical exchange and inspiring concerts offer the young artists maximum encouragement. The framework programme offers further exchange, also including the audience.
Oksana Lyniv, star of a new generation of conductors, leads her Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in an appeal for peace in Europe (Aug. 21). The Tbilisi Youth Orchestra (Aug. 19) presents a multi-faceted programme of classical and electronic sounds. On Aug. 20 the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan makes its Festival debut with a world and a German premiere. The finale of “Courage in Concert” is performed by the Orchestra of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre on Aug. 22.
A Festival Pass for this festival-within-the-festival offers a 30% discount, with access to the four orchestra concerts and the framework programme. Detailed information on the programme of accompanying events will be announced in May on young-euro-classic.de.
European Composition Award
Seven innovative world and German premieres are eligible for the European Composition Award. Once again, the winner of the prize, which carries a cash value of 5,000 Euros and is awarded by the Mayor of Berlin, will be chosen by an audience jury.
Without the trust and faith of the Festival’s long-standing partners, the summer concert series would be unthinkable. The presenter thanks the Federal Government, the State of Berlin and the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the KfW as well as the Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken, the GVL, the Lotto Foundation Berlin for funding the festival-within-the-festival “Courage in Concert”, the Festival’s media partners, its numerous donors and its wonderful audience. For funding NEXT GENERATION, the Festival thanks the Federal Ministry of Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk.
Young Euro Classic takes place in close cooperation with the Konzerthaus Berlin. All evening concerts begin at 8 pm; only the concert on Aug. 25 begins at 7 pm.
(Current as of March 2023; all information subject to change.)
Tomorrow’s Musicians Today!
Young Euro Classic. Festival of the World’s Best Youth Orchestras
August 4–27, 2023 at the Konzerthaus Berlin
Further information and the current programme can be found here:
Tickets available for 33 / 26 / 15 Euro
Please note that this season, Young Euro Classic offers more tickets in the third price category, which has been lowered to 15 Euros per seat.
Festival Pass for “Courage in Concert” available for 92 / 72 / 42 Euro
Tickets are available via the Young Euro Classic website, its Ticket Hotline (+49 30 – 8410 8909, Monday–Sunday: 10 am–6 pm) and via all known ticket sales points.