Breaking: EUYO is saved….. by Italy

Breaking: EUYO is saved….. by Italy


norman lebrecht

May 31, 2016

We are hearing from reliable sources that the European Commission has accepted a proposal from Italy to resume funding for the European Union Youth Orchestra.

The Italian culture minister has announced that Claudio Abbado’s orchestra is saved.

La commissione europea ha accolto la proposta italiana di salvare l’orchestra giovanile europea fondata dal maestro Abbado”. Lo rende noto il ministro dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Dario Franceschini al termine del consiglio dei ministri della cultura UE che ha recepito la proposta presentata dal governo italiano per stabilizzare i finanziamenti a favore alla European Union Youth Orchestra. “La EUYO – conclude Franceschini – è un simbolo dell’integrazione europea: con i suoi 160 elementi è un punto di forza della storia musicale dell’Europa unita”

Video confirmation in a press briefing here.

abbado berlin philharmonic (bpo)

Although there appears to have been a happy outcome, the EU Commission has been dysfunctional throughout the process and unfit for purpose. What needs to be done to make these time-servers democratically accountable?




  • Edmund Coxon says:


  • Robin Bloxsidge says:

    Brilliant news!

  • John Grant says:


  • Phil Ross says:

    This is excellent news
    Re your question as to what done towards making these commissioners democratically accountable,I think the obvious answer is nothing

  • Antonio Montinaro says:

    Finalmente una buona notizia !!!

  • Eleanor Hope says:

    Mille grazie Italia!

  • DESR says:

    Excellent news indeed.

    “What needs to be done to make these time-servers democratically accountable?”

    We all know the answer to that… it starts with a Brex and ends in it…. but then it spreads, like la calunnia…

    A democratic contagion. And an outbreak of common sense.

  • james judd says:

    Brilliant news. Thanks to all who applied pressure to keep this important institution alive for future generations.

    • Jules Reynolds says:

      All us oldies will breath a sigh of relief. Long may the orchestra represent Europe’s best spirit.

  • Dominique says:

    Bravo Italia, this is historical decision from the motherland of the classical music.

  • ruth says:

    YES YES YES!!! So much beauty and joy will come from this decision! Brava l’Italia!

  • John Borstlap says:

    Great news…. and solving one of the regular faux pas of the EU. Interestingly, the proposal had to come from a country with great difficulties nowadays, financial, political and refugeetesque, but apparantly with a stronger European cultural awareness than the organisation that claims to represent ‘the European idea’.

    Italy was also the birthplace of the renaissance, which spread all over the continent and was the onset of a more humanitarian and enlightened civilization, eventually shared by all European nations.

    • CS says:

      And yet some on this platform see it fit to advocate the dissolvement of our common European venture, thinking the populist powers to be will take better care of the subsidized institutions we hold dear. Shockingly, in the name of common sense…

  • Richard Barker says:

    Excelllent news. As a resident of Italy for the past forty years, one has become used to the country not often living up to its great and glorious past, so it comes as an extremely pleasant surprise that on occasions like this it can still do so.

  • Emanuele Moris says:

    Thank GOD common sense has prevailed!!!!! Such a beautiful example of UNITY, PEACE and HARMONY!!!!!!! I am proud of being and Italian!!!!

  • Rob van der Hilst says:

    One question remains: tell us who the bastards in Brussels are who tried to kill the EU youth orchestra? And please, sack them.

    • Jeremy Polmear says:

      There are no bastards, they are decent people, like you. It was the bureaucratic structure they work in that decided that the amount of funding the EUYO needed was not appropriate.

      No-one will be sacked because no-one made the decision.

      It is yet another example of how the EU is a setup where good people who mean well end up making bad policy. It is by no means the first example and will not be the last.

  • Andrew Balio says:

    It would be brilliant if Italy also funded its own orchestras and opera houses in a reasonable way. None the less, everyone can be elated at this news.

  • A Micklethwaite says:

    Excellent news. I really hope it comes to fruition!
    What can be done re the time-wasting, worthless unelected muppets in the EU Commission? Vote ‘out’ in the UK referendum and send the useless politicians and unelected pen pushers get the message. They should be fired. Simply not fit for purpose.
    We are still part of Europe and the same continent – but we can manage perfectly well without the unnecessary bureaucracy of the EU!!
    So it would appear, nay, in spite of the idiotic, self-serving bureaucrats running the EU, can the EYO.

    • Cheesenoise says:

      That’s right, lets make all young UK musicians ineligible for the ensemble then…. This is what we want, isn’t it?

  • David Nice says:

    It doesn’t look good for Brussels bureaucracy, that’s true, but I suggest you explore the workings – which need amending, sure – before you make the claim ‘unfit for purpose’. Like it or not, there was a procedure for funding, and someone should have pointed out that the EUYO should be exempt precisely because it’s the EU’s ambassador for culture. To paint Italy as heroic and the EU as totally villainous doesn’t help things at a very delicate time.

    And do remember that Abbado got fed up with some administrative aspects of the EUYO and moved on to the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra.

    • Jeremy Polmear says:

      The EU is not totally villainous, it does many good things.

      It also does need amending, as you say – but how to go about that is as much of a mystery as what the UK would look like after Brexit.

      This is what we have to look at when we consider whether the EU is fit for purpose. The ‘straight banana’ joke has been with us since the days of ‘Yes, Minister’; there has been plenty of time to amend things.

  • Ondrey says:

    It seems there are some more good news over the horizon.

    From today’s EC briefing:
    …and we very much would like the orchestra to continue its activities in Europe and that’s why the president of the Commission President Junker has asked commissionaires Navracsics, Ettinger and vice-president Georgeeva to find immediate solutions that can be sustainable and presented unto the college tomorrow…

    Watch after 1:20 here:

  • Claude Husemann says:

    A victory of art, taste, spirit, culture over market and mercantilism ! Grazie, Italia !

  • Trond Brenne says: