|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.
Giving annually around 40 concerts, to date in 73 countries, its schedule includes prestigious halls such as 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 including the Glasperlenspiel, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Emilia Romagna, Flanders, Echternach and Bodensee and frequently toured Germany, the Baltic States, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain as well as South America. Soloists who have recently performed with EUCO include Nicola Benedetti, for example in 2012 on a tour with Christmas concertos in highprofile halls, Alison Balsom and Julian Lloyd Webber with whom a concert from Llandudno was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Other recent highlights include the Ravello Festival in Italy and a concert in Luxembourg, alongside extended tours of Spain, Germany and Turkey. Both 2015 and 2016 included performances in Malta and Cairo as well as the many prestigious concerts in the UK, most notably to great critical acclaim in Warwick, Leeds and Cambridge.
EUCO has performed with many distinguished artists, for example Cyprien Katsaris, Lazar Berman, Mischa Maisky, Igor Oistrakh, James Galway, Ivo Pogorelich, Gil Apap, Alina Ibragimova and Emma Johnson. The Orchestra commissions works from leading European composers and has to its credit 23 CDs on various labels including ASV, Hyperion, Koch and Naxos. In 2008 the Orchestra’s Haydn CD was “Editor’s Choice” in the Gramophone and the 2013 release of music by Mozart received an “Outstanding Award” in July’s International Record Review.
Over the years EUCO has received funds from the European Commission, British Council, GoetheInstitut, the Ministry of Culture of Spain, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and the Cultural Relations Committee of Ireland.