EU youth orchestra to quit London HQ for Italy over Brexit

16:57 • 11.10.17



Brexit has forced the departure of the European Union Youth Orchestra from its UK headquarters to Italy, it has been announced.


The orchestra was established in London in 1976 but the British vote to leave meant it had to come up with a plan for a future outside the UK, the Guardian reports.

“It makes absolutely no sense for the office not to be in the EU,” said the chief executive, Marshall Marcus. “You can’t ask for EU funding and then not be in the EU.”


The orchestra said on Wednesday it had accepted an offer from the Italian culture ministry to be based in Ferrara and Rome. Italy is the home of the orchestra’s founding music director, the late Claudio Abbado, and the EUYO will have spring and autumn residencies at the Teatro Abbado in Ferrara from 2018.


The loss of the highly respected arts organisation was inevitable, but it will still be looked at with dismay by many in the arts world.

 

The orchestra’s co-chairs, Sir John Tusa and Ian Stoutzker, said in a statement they were delighted with the agreement with the Italian government and the city of Ferrara. “This is a major endorsement of the achievements and potential of the EUYO as practical evidence of Europe in action,” they said.


“This is a good day for musical and cultural cooperation in Europe. We are grateful to all parties for their vote of confidence in the European Union Youth Orchestra.”

 

The orchestra has about 120 players every year, aged between 17 and 24, and this year has 13 from Britain. It appears unlikely that British players will be eligible in future years.


The orchestra said UK musicians were currently still eligible and no firm decision on future arrangements would be made until the outcome of negotiations between the EU and the UK.

 

The orchestra has existed for more than 40 years but had been threatened with closure in 2016 when the EU announced its attention to end funding.


 

 





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