The European Union Youth Orchestra, now in its 40th anniversary year, is to cease operations from 1 September, 2016 due to the lack of funding from the European Union.
For 38 years, between 1976 and 2013, the EUYO was supported by the EU as a Cultural Ambassador for the EU.
Since 2014 a change in the EU’s cultural funding policy meant that the Orchestra was no longer funded by the EU, as funding was no longer given to any cultural organisation, but was only available for projects under the EU’s new Creative Europe programme. Representation was made at the time that this method of funding could not sustain the Orchestra, and that the proposed funding method was inappropriate. With no other option, the Orchestra applied to Creative Europe, and from 2014-15 the Orchestra received funding under the new Programme.
The EUYO was however informed three weeks ago that its Creative Europe partnership is no longer to be in receipt of any funding from the EU. Since that time the Orchestra has been in regular contact with the EU to attempt to find alternative funding from the EU. However, the funding routes so far suggested by the EU do not allow the Orchestra to plan any form of secure future.
Considering the high visibility of many agreed performances this summer – such as the Grafenegg European Music Campus, the Slovak EU Presidency concert, the Wrocław European City of Culture concert, the Alpbach European Forum opening concert and the launch of a major 40th anniversary 3 year tour to all the 28 Capital cities of the EU’S member states – the Trustees of the Orchestra have come to the conclusion that it would be harmful to the long term interests of the Orchestra, and of the EU, for the summer 2016 tour to be cancelled. They have therefore decided to take responsibility for the forthcoming tour, and together with the EUYO’s Residency Partners, to find the monies required to permit this year’s tour to proceed.
The Summer 2016 tour is therefore assured. Details of this tour are attached. Thereafter, without funding from the EU, the EUYO has no alternative but to cease operations.
UPDATE and reactions here.