EUROPEAN UNION BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
In any profession, the move from student to practitioner is always the most difficult and if you are a talented young baroque musician, difficult might sometimes seem like impossible. The problem is one of experience: to work with a top orchestra you need experience, but you can’t get the experience you need without working with a top orchestra. EUBO bridges this ‘experience gap’.
Every year EUBO invites 100 talented young baroque musicians from across Europe to take part in one of two three-day audition courses. The 25 successful candidates, typically from 10 or more different countries with an average age of 25 years, then spend six months together, training, touring and performing throughout Europe and further afield under the world’s leading baroque specialists including Roy Goodman, Alfredo Bernardini, Fabio Biondi, Reinhard Goebel, Paul Goodwin, Monica Huggett, Ton Koopman, Andrew Manze, Marc Minkowski and Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
At the end of each year, the students of EUBO move on into the professional world and the whole process, from audition to graduation, begins again. EUBO has been so successful in its mission, that there are now former EUBO students in every major professional baroque ensemble in the world, including, for example, The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, English Concert, Europa Galante, Academy of Ancient Music, La Petite Bande, The King’s Consort, Concerto Copenhagen and Les Arts Florissants.
EUBO was founded as a major initiative of European Music Year in 1985. Since then, well over a thousand young musicians have passed through the Orchestra’s hands, more than 400 of them as full members. EUBO’s work is made possible by the generous support of the European Commission, in recognition of the fact that this unique training project can only function at a pan-European level, and of the electronics giant Matsushita Electric Europe (Headquarters) Ltd, known worldwide for its brands Panasonic and Technics, and the Orchestra’s principal sponsor since 1989.
As an official training initiative of the European Union, the EUBO also fulfils an important ambassadorial function, being a powerful symbol of the relevance and attainability of the European ideal: respecting individual identities while celebrating the greater whole, a perspective essential to the future of international understanding. Since 1985, the Orchestra has carried this message to every corner of the globe, giving concerts in 49 countries, including many frequently neglected regions and often in partnership with local EU representation. In the last five years, for example, EUBO has played in the war-torn cities of Bosnia and Croatia, the townships of Soweto, the Gaza Strip, throughout the Middle East, and in 2001 made its début in China.
Although not first and foremost a recording ensemble, as part of its training programme the EUBO has made five commercially available CDs: William Corbett’s Bizzarie Universali, Concerti Grossi by Pieter Hellendaal, a CD entitled Birds, Beast and Battles directed by Monica Huggett, and a reconstruction of JS Bach’s lost Markus-Passion. The most recent EUBO recording, directed by Roy Goodman with soloists from the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium, of Handel’s Cantata Apollo & Dafne, was released on the Naxos label in August 2001.
2003 tours in March, April, May, June and November will be directed by Reinhard Goebel, Paul Goodwin and Roy Goodman. As the Orchestra has no permanent rehearsal facility it prepares and rehearses programmes ‘on the road’; and in 2003 will be based in Germany at Kloster Michaelstein and in Burg Langendorf. The orchestra will repeat the programme in May 2003 which it performed with Paul Goodwin in Japan in 2002. Concerts during the 2003 season will also take the Orchestra to Slovenia, the 50th country that EUBO will visit.
The European Union Baroque Orchestra is a highly valued training resource for young musicians. Without EUBO, there is no doubt that professional baroque ensembles would find it difficulty to maintain their standards and that the health and vitality of baroque performance across the world would suffer. The Orchestra has inspired the hundreds of young people who have trained with it since 1985 and the thousands who have experienced its dazzling performances each year. With the continued support of the European Union, his bienfaiteurs, supporters and friends, EUBO looks forward to building on its successes well into the new century.