The European Union Youth Orchestra celebrates Europe Day 2021 and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union with a special online performance on 9 May 2021, marking the 71st anniversary of the historic Schumann declaration. Taking the Portuguese Presidency theme “Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery” as our inspiration, we present the Europe Day concert 2021:
“Time to deliver: What can the Arts do to help Europe’s Recovery?”
Six young Portuguese EUYO members and alumni based in Portugal and in last year’s Presidency country, Germany, contribute not only with a performance of Beethoven’s youthful Serenade Op. 8, but also with their thoughts about Europe, Portugal and the role of music in helping society. The event was filmed, thanks to the help of the EUYO’s partner Europa Nostra, in two of Europe’s most culturally significant palaces: the UNESCO World Heritage Site Palácio Nacional de Mafra in Portugal, and the Palais Lichtenau in Potsdam, Germany.
Elisa Ferreira, Portugal’s EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, sends a special message for the event: “The recent pandemic has reminded us of precious things we used to take for granted, such as our health and social life. It also revealed how culture and arts can bring people together, heal our spirits and fill our hearts with hope. Culture helped us to weather the worst moments of the crisis and now also needs to be a key part of a future oriented recovery. The European Union Youth Orchestra is one of the best expressions of Europe’s diversity, talent and future. I could not think of a better companion to celebrate this year’s Europe’s Day.”
Sofia Colares Alves, Head of the European Commission Representation in Portugal, contributing a video message as part of the event, states: “The answer to the question ‘What can the Arts do to help Europe’s Recovery?’ lies in your day-to-day example, and I am convinced that the cultural sector will continue to lead by example as we heal and rebuild our societies.”
Graça Fonseca, Portuguese Minister of Culture, welcomes the concert stating: “Now is the time to support culture, because that means investing in democracy. It is crucial for our collective future to bolster the resilience and sustainability of a sector that is fundamental for our model of social and economic development. Approval has accordingly been secured for the largest package of stimulus measures ever financed by European funds, to help rebuild Europe, making it greener, more digital and more resilient. For this same reason, now is also the time to keep alive the dream of all those who have striven and continue to strive to ensure that, in Europe, culture can increasingly be proclaimed as a duty, a right and as an essential good. We therefore salute the talented players of the European Union Youth Orchestra, who today have taken another step forward in this recovery, with a performance dedicated to Europe Day, centred on two iconic examples of Europe's cultural heritage.”
Marshall Marcus, EUYO Secretary General, introduces the event, commenting that, “As the EU’s Cultural Ambassador, this event is an opportunity for the EUYO to help celebrate Europe Day and Portugal’s Presidency with European and Portuguese musicians and culture, but also to give a needed moment to reflect, and to harness the undoubted power of culture as a means to promote healing and recovery.”
“Time to deliver: What can the Arts do to help Europe’s Recovery?” premieres on Sunday 9 May 2021, 11:00 CET on the EUYO YouTube channel, website and social media, and will be available on the official websites of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as on the website of EUYO’s Broadcast Partner, Italy’s Rai Radio3, and distributed via the social media platforms of the Representations of the European Commission in Portugal and in Germany, and the European Union Delegations to Egypt and to the United Nations in New York.