Germany demands rescue plan for EU youth orchestra

Germany demands rescue plan for EU youth orchestra


norman lebrecht

May 22, 2016

Germany’s culture minister, the estimable Monika Grütters, has said her government will work in Brussels to find a solution that will prevent the abolition of the European Union Youth Orchestra.

Ms Grütters is politically and personally close to Chancellor Merkel. The Brussels culture commissioner Tibor Navracsics has suddenly said he does not rule out the possibility of a new funding application from EUYO.

The sands may be shifting.

Monika Grütters

Meanwhile, Tibor Navracsics  has received ths letter from the orchestra of a Scala Milan:
Although the Filarmonica della Scala is a self-supporting organisation without public funding, we are all deeply concerned about what is happening to the European Youth Orchestra; not only in terms of the cultural and symbolic value that the orchestra has for many young people within the EU but also in the light of our common history as in 1976 the initial project of the youth symphonic orchestra was the brainchild of Claudio Abbado who was also the founder of the Filarmonica della Scala. Therefore, we have two valid reasons for supporting the EUYO: the first being that Italy has played a crucial part in this project and we should not forget Claudio Abbado’s role in making unparalleled music as well as putting music at the heart of the life of people and institutions alike. The second being that today’s European Union of bureaucrats without vision is very far from the ideals upon which it was founded. The European Union Youth Orchestra still stands as one of our most important ambassadors, a potent symbol of union. The message of hope, community spirit and participation that involves more than 160 young people from the EU is priceless. This is part of the history, identity and cultural growth of a community of peoples.


  • Nick says:

    Bravi! Excellent news!

  • pooroperaman says:

    Ms Grütters is politically and personally close to Chancellor Merkel’

    So look out for the five thousand Syrians who will suddenly appear in the viola section.

    • Craig says:

      You think you’re being a clever troll, but in fact you are an incredibly stupid troll. Go back to the Spectator comment section.

      • Max Grimm says:

        He’s just changing his mind, Craig. Only a very short time ago the refugees were uneducated criminals who hated and destroyed our culture. Now he apparently thinks of them as skilled musicians, interested in taking part in our musical culture by the thousands. I’d call that a definite image improvement.

    • Paul Edlin says:

      …an utterly ridiculous and disgraceful comment from someone lacking in any form of judgment.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      The Thought Police have been onto you; you are forbidden to utter these words, even as a joke. Perhaps you should all submit ideas first to the Thought Police before writing or uttering them, as as happened with the Politburo, to see if they are ‘suitable’ or ‘approved’. Not such a leap from authoritarianism is it? And yet these same types will bluster and put hand across heart that it is people like you who are the threats to real freedom. These are merely their own projections.

  • Paul Edlin says:

    ‘The sands may be shifting’ will surely be an understatement. The EUYO epitomises all that the EU stands for. That this needless situation has arisen is the result of a sheer lack of foresight. The backlash must be unprecedented. A solution has to be found. It’s now surely not a matter of ‘if’ but how soon. Bravo to the EUYO team for taking the stance that they have. He who dares wins – though in this case there was never the need for a fight.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Even if Brussels re-installs the support again, this affair clearly demonstrates the clumsiness of the EU leading elite. Through a process of erosion, a certain type of politicians has scrambled to the top of the Brussels pyramid and by their brick-dropping expose their inadequacy. A clear signal that the EU as an organisation is in strong need of reform – culture should be at the heart of the organisation, to bind people and to overcome the many differences between the European countries.

  • Terry Kelly says:

    When we spend money on war and weaponry we know what we are getting, death and destruction. When we spend money on things like youth orchestras it is not so easy to describe the benefits of spending that money but it is undoubtedly money better spent. When we spend on the former and do not spend on the latter we are on the road to hell.