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EUROPEAN UNION CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Patron: HM Queen Sofia of Spain

   

The EUCO gave its first concerts in 1981 and soon gained a worldwide reputation as a musical ambassador for the European Union. From 1992 to 2004 assistance from the European Commission enabled EUCO to make intercontinental tours covering South and East Asia, North, South and Central America, North Africa and the Middle East as well as Europe. Performances included those in the presence of Queen Noor of Jordan, the King and Queen of Belgium and its own Patron, Queen Sofia of Spain. In 1999 EUCO gave a concert to mark the 77th birthday of King Sihanouk of Cambodia in the Royal Palace at Phnom Penh and in 2000 performed for the birthday of Princess Galyani in Bangkok.

At the invitation of the European Delegations, EUCO toured South America seven times and Mexico nine times and in 1996 was the first "European" Orchestra to give concerts in Belize and Cuba. In 1997 EUCO's tour of Canada celebrated 500 years since the landing of John Cabot and in 1998 EUCO toured India in celebration of 50 years of Indian independence and the British Presidency of the EU. Other countries to which it returned very regularly included Chile and Peru, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Since 2005 EUCO has concentrated on performing across Europe, in particular in the new member states of the European Union. Giving annually between 50 and 60 concerts, to date in 73 countries, its schedule includes prestigious halls such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Frankfurter Alte Oper, Milan’s Sala Verdi and Valencia’s Palau de la Musica as well as many major halls across Britain. The Orchestra has appeared at international festivals such as the Glasperlenspiel, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Emilia Romagna, Flanders, Echternach and Bodensee.   Its most recent tours in 2010  have taken it to the UK, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Peru..  The Orchestra’s tours in 2011 have included 9 UK concerts with Nicola Benedetti, and visits to France, Holland, Belgium and Turkey.

The Orchestra performs with many distinguished artists, for example Cyprien Katsaris, Lazar Berman, Mischa Maisky and Igor Oistrakh and most recently with James Galway, Ivo Pogorelich and Gil Apap. The Orchestra commissions works from leading European composers and has to its credit 18 CDs on ASV, Hyperion, Koch and Regent.

Over the years EUCO has received funds from the European Commission, British Council, Goethe-Institut, the Ministry of Culture of Spain, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and the Cultural Relations Committee of Ireland.

 

2012

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