Social cohesion

Social cohesion

Pure joy on stage

The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) is unique for many reasons. Not least because it brings together young musicians from all 28 EU member states. We present the EUYO in our video and let Malin, Inis, Josefien, Mateusz and Pedro tell us what it's like to be part of it.


We portray the European Union Youth Orchestra in this video (KfW Group/Schuch/Chua).

What does it mean to you to play in the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO)?

PEDRO: Playing in the EUYO essentially means getting to know and work with great people, and knowing that we all share a common goal, which is to make music and have fun.

INIS: Being a member of EUYO is amazing. It means everything to me right now. It’s such a new experience and I think what I have learnt is invaluable.

JOSEFIEN: What’s really nice about the EUYO is that you can work together with people of the same age and different nationalities. All of them are really good and inspiring musicians and you get to know a lot of people. It’s just really fun.

MALIN: Being a part of this orchestra is really a special experience, even more so than other orchestras. As soon as you sit in the orchestra, you can feel the special atmosphere. Every orchestra member has so much energy and you can tell that everyone really enjoys playing. It's captivating.

“A common goal”

Pedro (20) from Portugal has been playing the viola since he was seven (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch).

How would you describe the EUYO’s reputation?

JOSEFIEN: This orchestra is like a musical family, where everyone is really close to one other. As really good musicians, we play at a high level and also have fun at the same time. I am really proud to be part of EUYO.

PEDRO: The EUYO is quite famous for its high musical standard. We have so much energy and power together. And we are able to connect and play together and listen to one another. And we give ourselves the space to appreciate one other in as many ways as possible. So, I would say that the reputation of the EUYO is really something.

“Europe should unite”

Mateusz (20) is from Poland. He chose the cello when he was little because it was the only instrument he could hug (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch).

How it is to play with so many different people from so many different countries?

INIS: I’ve never played in an event like this one with so many different people from different countries before. I have also played “Ode to Joy” with an all-British orchestra and I would say it is a similar experience because it represents music as something joyful and triumphant. But playing it with people from other countries shows that music is a collective idea. With just a single nationality, you are not able to express the same thing.

PEDRO: Yes, you’re right. It is an amazing opportunity to get to know people from all of the other countries; meaning different cultures, different ways of being and different ways of thinking. It is a very rare and precious gift.

MALIN: When we are in the middle of a concert, there is so much adrenaline. And if we look at each other while we are playing, it's brilliant. There are simply moments you know you will remember for your whole life, and when you think back on them later, you’ll still get goosebumps.

“Everyone has so much energy”

21-year-old Malin from Germany started to play the violin when she was seven years old (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch).

Are you proud to be a part of the orchestra?

MALIN: Yes, very much so. I am very proud to be part of EUYO. The first time I heard them play I thought: “Wow, I really want to play in this orchestra.”

JOSEFIEN: They held auditions all over Europe and so I feel quite honoured that I am able to play in this orchestra, that I have this opportunity. To play here is really a good step towards my future career as a musician and it also gives me a lot of experience playing an orchestra.

MATEUSZ: I'm really proud of myself for having made it here. This opportunity to meet so many people from different countries has been really fantastic for me.

INIS: I have learnt how to get to the point of music, turning everything I want to say into music and making it meaningful. That’s what they teach here.

“Inspiring musicians”

Belgian Josefien, 22 years old, started nagging her parents to play the harp when she was four years old (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch).

What does Europe mean to you?

MALIN: To me, Europe means that, no matter where you are from, everyone is equal and everyone deserves respect no matter where they come from.

INIS: I would like my country to stay a part of Europe – because I am from the UK and our situation is somewhat complicated at the moment. I think becoming part of Europe was a step forward.

MATEUSZ: I believe that Europe should be united by different nations. Everyone should respect one another.

What’s so good about Europe?

INIS: It means bringing countries together and for me personally, it means I can meet people from different cultures just by doing something I love, like music.

“Music is a collective idea”

Viola player Inis from the UK is 18 years old. She switched from the violin just a half year ago (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch).

Is there a song, a musical score or piece that perfectly embodies this idea?

MALIN: Yes, the European anthem does, of course. “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

MATEUSZ: I agree, it is Beethoven’s Ninth symphony, especially the grand finale. Because it spreads the message that everyone should be united. If people are united, they can do something really momentous.

If you play the “Ode to Joy”, what meaning do you associate with this piece of music?

INIS: It is to try and make the music come across as something triumphant and successful; to play as collectively as possible.

MATEUSZ: I really like playing the music of Beethoven. I think he was a true genius.

PEDRO: It is undoubtedly a very cathartic symphony. Even in Beethoven’s life it was the one moment where his glory finally came to fruition; he was finally truly acknowledged by everyone and I think it is just incredibly fitting for the whole European idea because it is about unity, it is about happiness, it is about what Beethoven was when he wrote it, since being a deaf composer must have been very traumatic. But he certainly faced many unimaginable hardships and in the end he actually managed to create an idea of joy. Well, to me, at least, that’s what the symphony represents.

“All together now”

Malin, Josefien, Inis, Mateusz and Pedro play the beginning of the “Ode to Joy” (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch).

Are you already looking forward to the sing-along performance at the Gendarmenmarkt square?

MALIN: Yes, very much so. Of course, this is a monumental event and I am very much looking forward to being a part of it.

Thank you very much for this conversation. Looking forward to seeing and listening to you on the 4 August!

PEDRO: We will see you there. And please tell everyone to show up and sing and listen and share our energy!

INIS: Yes, please come along if you would like to know what it’s like to share the same joy of music with so many people.

Published on KfW Stories: Tuesday, 16 July 2019