Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO) was founded in Vienna in 1986 on the initiative of Claudio Abbado. Along with supporting young musicians, it was created with the goal of encouraging young Austrian musicians to make music with their colleagues from the former CSSR and Hungary. Since 1992 the GMJO, which since than has been taken under the patronage of the Council of Europe, opened up to include musicians from all over Europe able to meet the high admission criteria – with an upper age limit of 26. At the auditions that take place annually in more than twenty-five European cities, a prominent selection committee choses candidates from the approximately 2000 applicants. The GMJO is considered the youth orchestra par excellence for European musicians. Many former members today hold first-chair positions with international ensembles; such celebrated soloists as Renaud and Gautier Capuçon and Alison Balsom similarly gained their first experiences here. Numerous famous conductors have led the GMJO in the past: along with Claudio Abbado, the list includes such figures as Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Antonio Pappano, Seiji Ozawa, and Franz Welser-Möst; Jonathan Nott helmed their Easter tour in 2015, and in June 2015 Kent Nagano conducted them at the Wiener Festwochen in Bartók’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle. Through an intensive partnership between the GMJO with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, members of both orchestras participate in concerts and projects. The GMJO is a regular guest at the major European concert venues and festivals, including those in Vienna, Lucerne, Salzburg, and Edinburgh and at the BBC Proms. In 2007 the ensemble received the European Cultural Foundation Award. Erste Bank and Vienna Insurance Group are Partners of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 17 August 1990, with Václav Neumann conducting works by Krenek, Mahler, and Dvorák.

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August 2015