The summer festival at the Konzerthaus Berlin presents the world’s best pre-professional youth orchestras.
In keeping with the festival’s traditional rallying cry “Tomorrow’s musicians today!”, Young Euro Classic begins on August 4 with the Asian Youth Orchestra at the Konzerthaus Berlin. The festival’s 24th edition includes 18 evenings, presenting 15 orchestras from all over Europe, Cuba and Asia as well as two jazz big bands, ballet, chamber music and literature. Children aged 3 and up are invited to join in and listen on the two days dedicated to the NEXT GENERATION of musicians and listeners.
A special highlight this season is the festival-within-the-festival “Courage in Concert” – featuring young musicians and authors from Ukraine and three of its “neighbours of war”, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Estonia: three countries particularly exposed to the effects of the Russian invasion, due to their geography and history.
Despite ongoing construction on Gendarmenmarkt, the Konzerthaus is accessible via Charlottenstraße.
“Courage in Concert” – the Festival within the Festival
Gabriele Minz, General Manager of Young Euro Classic: “With ‘Courage in Concert’, we would like to enable artistic encounters between young citizens, to illustrate and reflect how Russian aggression has changed life in their homelands, social interaction and their personal perspectives. Our tools are listening to one another, making music together and exchanging different points of view. As a festival, we want to create a space where energies can be replenished and alliances forged.”
The festival within the festival offers youth orchestras from Ukraine (Aug. 21), Georgia (Aug. 19), Uzbekistan (Aug. 20) and Estonia (Aug. 22) the opportunity to experience a hopeful contrast to these times of crisis, due to their own musical performance. In addition, a one-week chamber music academy ensures direct exchange and collaboration between 17 young talents from these four countries. Together, they will present a chamber music programme of classical, contemporary and traditional works at the Chamber Music Hall of the Konzerthaus in Berlin. Furthermore, “Courage in Concert” also brings together authors for an exchange: on Aug. 20, Ganna Gnedkova (Ukraine), Sveta Grigorjeva (Estonia), Sharif Ahmedov (Uzbekistan) and Dato Turashvili (Georgia) will discuss the effects of the written word in times of crisis, on the occasion of a reading of texts they have created for this occasion.
Youthful exuberance, rarely-heard solo instruments, great performers
Prof. Dr. Dieter Rexroth, Artistic Director of Young Euro Classic: “Festivals manifest our understanding of ourselves and the soundtrack we choose for our lives. Here in Berlin, the world’s youth creates orchestral sound as an expression of their determination to create peace and freedom; standing up for a world that must not be destroyed, but where the spirit of harmony and the power of reconciliation and love reign.”
Young Euro Classic opens with a performance of the Asian Youth Orchestra under the baton of Joseph Bastian, playing Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (Aug. 4). Friends of late romantic symphonic music will also enjoy Jean Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony, rendered by the Bundesjugendorchester (Aug 5), as well as Eduard Tubin’s Seventh Symphony on Aug. 22, performed by the Orchestra of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. The Norwegian Ungdomssymfonikerne also scale dizzying heights of the repertoire, playing Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony (Aug. 17). The Orchestre Français des Jeunes presents a musical “tricolore” for the last night of Young Euro Classic on Aug. 27: classical modernism by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, the Concerto for Piano in G by Maurice Ravel with Alexandre Tharaud as the soloist, and finally Piotr Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.
Young Euro Classic focuses this year on solo instruments which might be surprising in the symphonic context. Twice, the accordion stars: the award-winning Lithuanian accordionist Martynas Levickis will perform the brand-new work “The Ghost Machine Treatise” by the Swedish composer Daniel Nelson with the Bundesjugendorchester (Aug. 5). The Western Balkans Youth Orchestra (WBYO) also places an accordion in the limelight, played by soloist Nikola Komatina from Serbia. Furthermore, the WBYO features another unusual solo instrument, the long-necked lute çifteli, played by Hava Bekteshi, originally from North Macedonia (Aug. 12). The trombone is another rare solo instrument in classical concerts: the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra performs the Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra by the Danish composer Launy Grøndahl, with the internationally renowned soloist Achilles Liarmakopoulos (Aug. 11). The National Youth Orchestra of Romania has another unusual constellation to offer: joined by the two Romanian pianists Oxana Corjos and Cristian Niculescu, it performs Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos (Aug. 13).
Renowned conductors ensure that Young Euro Classic offers first-rate performances. In addition to Oksana Lyniv, who leads the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (Aug. 21), they include Manfred Honeck at the helm of the European Union Youth Orchestra (Aug. 16) and Jakub Hrůsa, conducting the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (Aug. 23). Another promising evening is the debut of the Concertgebouworkest YOUNG on Aug. 25 – a youth project of the world-famous Amsterdam orchestra, conducted by the Colombian Andrés Orozco-Estrada, with the young violinist Maria Dueñas as the soloist. International renown also follows NYO Jazz from the USA to the Konzerthaus Berlin: led by trumpet star Sean Jones, it also features the legendary jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater (Aug. 6).
The horn player Sarah Willis and the Orquesta del Lyceum de La Habana from Cuba present a programme on Aug. 10 ranging from Mozart to Latin American sounds by Chucho Valdés and others. Another swinging evening will be presented by the Jong Metropole Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, led by Chris Walden – a jazz icon and chief arranger of the annual Oscar awards ceremony (Aug. 18). On Aug. 26, the Bundesjugendballett, Germany’s national youth ballet, joins forces with dancers from the Eoan Group in South Africa for its eleventh appearance at Young Euro Classic, delighting its fans.
Once again, Young Euro Classic presents the education programme NEXT GENERATION for children and teenagers. The Children’s Day on Aug. 13 at the Konzerthaus Berlin features the concerts “In the Magic Forest” and “The Courageous Little Tailor”, the latter composed by Sinem Altan, and the hands-on event “Good Vibrations” for children aged 3 and up. The week-long vacation workshop “The Young Podcast” (Aug. 21-26) invites teenagers aged 14 to 18 to gain experience in producing podcasts, guided by music journalist Julia Kaiser – from research to recording and editing. A NEXT GENERATION highlight is the German-French Junior Academy, now taking place as part of Young Euro Classic for the third time. 30 music students from the Paul Hindemith Music School in Berlin’s Neukölln district will join 30 colleagues from the El Camino project of the Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn in France, rehearsing a diverse programme of music for two weeks. Before this programme is presented at the Konzerthaus Berlin on Aug. 27, the Junior Academy opens its doors for a public rehearsal on Aug. 25 at the Gemeinschaftshaus Gropiusstadt in Berlin.
European Composition Award
Once again, the European Composition Award will be awarded by the Mayor of Berlin, Kai Wegner. It carries a cash value of 5,000 € for the winning composer, who is chosen by an audience jury chaired by a musicologist from among the eight world or German premieres presented at Young Euro Classic.
Construction Work on Gendarmenmarkt
Due to the climate-friendly renovation work on Gendarmenmarkt, the entire square is undergoing comprehensive construction. Therefore, the Konzerthaus is not accessible from Markgrafenstraße. Access via the open-air stairway is not possible. Instead, the main entrance in the carriage drive is accessible from Charlottenstraße, alongside the building on both the north and south side.
Press tickets can be picked up at the Visitor Service Centre of the Konzerthaus Berlin, located on the north side of the building, across from the French Cathedral.
Without the support and trust of the festival’s major and long-standing partners, Young Euro Classic could not take place. The presenter thanks the Federal Government, the State of Berlin, the Hauptstadtkulturfonds as well as Neustart Kultur, the KfW as well as the Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken, the GVL, the Ströer corporation, the festival’s media partners, its numerous donors and supporters and its wonderful audience. The festival-within-the-festival “Courage in Concert” is supported by the Lotto Foundation Berlin.
For making NEXT GENERATION possible, the Festival thanks the Federal Ministry of Families, the German-French Youth Foundation and Erasmus+.
Tomorrow’s Musicians Today!
Young Euro Classic. The Festival of the World’s Best Youth Orchestras
August 4–27, 2023 at the Konzerthaus Berlin
Ticket price categories 33 € / 26 € / 15 € (plus advance ticketing fees).
Please note: this season, Young Euro Classic is offering more seats in Price Category 3, while also lowering prices in that category to 15 Euros.
Festival Pass “Courage in Concert” 92 € / 72 € / 42 € (plus advance ticketing fees).
Tickets can be purchased via the Young Euro Classic website, the Ticket Hotline
(+49 / (0)30 / 8410 8909, Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm) and at all the regular ticket sales pointes.
The detailed Festival programme is available at: young-euro-classic.de
All press releases can be found here for downloading.