Eurochestries International Festivals – A Message from Jüri-Ruut Kangur

Every year, around 1000 young people from various countries come together, united by the universal language of music. The Eurochestries Federation of Festivals have spaces for 9 more orchestras to celebrate its 30th edition in 2019. They have asked us here at IAYO to put the call out to our members as they would be delighted to include representatives from Ireland to join this celebration of sharing cultures of people from all around the world. The Eurochestries festivals take place in France, Brazil, Estonia, Canada, China and Russia, gathering symphony and string orchestras, choirs and music chamber ensembles of young people, from 15 to 25 years old. Some projects also welcome individual musicians.

We have been talking with Jüri-Ruut Kangur, Vice President of Eurochestries Festivals Federation and regular conductor at the festivals and he gave us this message:

“I am so happy to promote participation in the Eurochestries festivals and hope that it´s not too late to plan a trip to Central Europe for this year and that it is still possible to find an Irish orchestra for the 2019 festivals to be held in France. Participation in the Eurochestries Festivals is financially very reasonable, really very cheap! Usually, the participation fee for festivals is around €400 – €500 per person with travel costs on top, but the Eurochestries participation fee is only €50 (+ €50 per orchestra)! It’s probably the cheapest youth orchestra festival in Europe. The small fee includes all meals (3 times in a day) and accommodation (in boarding schools usually), plus free entry to all events!

Naturally, you have to pay travel costs i.e. flight costs and a local bus to travel from airport to the accommodation (but a bus will be provided for your journeys to and from your accommodation to the venue). You also cover any extra-curricular travel and hire of any instruments (1 – 2 double basses and 4 celli are usually around €400 in total, percussion around €300). Real costs per person could be between €300 and €400 if roughly 45 people attend, and obviously less if there were subsidies from fundraising activities or sponsorship. Of course, you could also use your own transport and travel via ferry.

The 2019 festivals will have participants who are Estonian, Spanish, Brazilian, Polish, Ukrainian, Chinese, French, Canadian and Mexican. Held in small charming towns and villages, each venue has stunning surroundings and always a large audience in attendance. There is a warm welcome by the locals and after the concert a reception given by the “local mayor”. You will have the chance to perform in five of your own concerts in Charente-Maritime festival and a few less in the Deux-Sevres festival if you were to travel in 2019.

Every morning there is a rehearsal of the united orchestra. Your orchestra will join this international ensemble and give two concertsIt is a great educational experience for young musicians in symphonic music, new compositions, film, folk and other music with guest conductors. It is a wonderful cultural exchange and a fantastic chance to communicate with other young musicians from around the world. There are people who are there as guides who help to translate. There are usually two days of opening concerts plus two gala concerts with performances by all orchestras and ensembles. You will have 2 – 3 free afternoon and evenings for excursions and there is a disco and a final party for the participants. The festivals are busy, but with time to relax in the evenings. Everybody sleeps in the same school with approximately 300 – 350 participants.

The age group is for secondary school and university students, as 12 days and 9 concerts for very young musicians may be too much but we hope an Irish group can fill.”

For further information of the 2019 and 2020 festivals, please visit: