The European Union Youth Orchestra will cease operations in September 2016 due to a lack of funding from the European Union.
The ensemble, which is now in its 40th anniversary year, will continue with its summer 2016 tour as planned, but will have to cancel the rest of its four-year Capital Sounds tour as part of its anniversary celebrations.
The orchestra’s trustees have agreed to take financial responsibility for the forthcoming tour, and will find with the EUYO’s Residency Partners, to find the monies required to permit this year’s tour to proceed.
The EUYO was supported by the EU as a Cultural Ambassador between 1976 and 2013, but a change in the EU’s cultural funding policy in 2014 meant that the orchestra was funded under the Creative Europe programme from 2014/15.
However, the EUYO was informed three weeks ago that its Creative Europe partnership is no longer to be in receipt of any funding from the EU.
The orchestra has been in contact with the EU in order to attempt to find an alternative funding arrangement, but the proposed funding routes do not allow the orchestra to plan towards a secure future.
Ian Stoutzker, trustee, co-chair and orchestra board chair, said that the EU would be scoring ‘a spectacular own-goal’ by abandoning the orchestra.
Fellow trustee and co-chair Sir John Tusa added: ‘For 40 years the EUYO has been the musical expression of European unity, artistic collaboration and partnership. It is a tragedy that the European community seems no longer to value such work as a key part of the European project.’
Since the EUYO was founded in 1976 by Claudio Abbado, it has supported more than 3,000 young classical musicians from all 28 EU member states.