YOUNG SERBIAN AND CROATIAN PLAYERS JOIN EUYO FOR CONCERTS IN BELGRADE AND ZAGREB
The European Union Youth Orchestra has long embodied the values of cross-cultural cooperation and 'unity in diversity' that lie at the heart of the Union itself. As Cultural Ambassador for the EU, the orchestra also plays a key role in spreading those messages beyond the borders of the Union. So it was with great excitement that the orchestra played in Belgrade for the first time in more than 30 years and Zagreb for the first time ever, as part of the 2011 Spring Tour, and undertook to build a 'cultural bridge' with young musicians there. To mark the aspirations of both Serbia and Croatia to join the EU, Serbian violinist Mladen Drenic and cellist Nemanja Stankovic were invited to join the orchestra in the concert at the Sava Centar in Belgrade, and Croatian cellists Petra Kusan and Smiljan Mrcela were invited to join the orchestra in the concert at the Lisinski Hall in Zagreb. It was a huge undertaking on their behalf - unlike the rest of the orchestra members, who had been rehearsing the difficult repertoire (Liszt and Wagner) for more than two weeks - they only had the afternoon of the general rehearsal! But they rose to the occasion magnificently, much to the appreciation of the EUYO members and the enthusiastic audiences in both concert halls. We eagerly look forward to the day when we can hold our auditions in both countries, and can welcome the most talented Serbian and Croatian players into the EUYO fold... Roll on the Accession process!