Eurochestries International Festivals of Youth Orchestras 2020

Every year, around 1000 young people from various countries meet together, united by the universal language of music at the Eurochestries International Orchestra Festivals. The Eurochestries 2020 festivals take place in France, Brazil, Canada, China and Russia, gathering symphony and string orchestras, choirs or music chamber ensembles of young people, aged from 15 to 25. Some projects also welcome individual musicians. At each Festival, every musician comes together to form a united Festival Orchestra allowing young musicians to perform with musicians from across the world!

An orchestra performing at the Eurochestries Festival in Jonzac, Charente-Maritime, France. Photo by Jacky Berthelot.

They have spaces for more orchestras to celebrate its 31st edition in 2020 with a number of festivals happening across the world. They would be delighted to include representatives from Ireland to join this celebration of sharing cultures of people from all around the world.
Claude Révolt, President of the Eurochestries has said:

“The Eurochestries, Festival of Youth Symphonic Orchestras, develops its image across Europe by its willingness to gather and bring together young musicians and singers, conductors and composers. The Eurochestries contribute to the development of trade policy in favour of youth orchestras. Europe represents a great hope for this musical youth, developing an artistic brotherhood.”
Participation in the Eurochestries Festivals is financially very reasonable. Usually the participation fee for festivals is around €400 – €500 per person with travel costs on top, but the Eurochestries participation fee for 2020 is only €70 per person and €100 per orchestra!

This small fee includes all the meals (3 times in a day) and accommodation (in boarding schools usually), plus free entry to all events! All your own concerts and performance opportunities are organised for you by the Eurochestries.

Naturally you have to pay travel costs for example, flight costs and a local bus to travel from the airport to the accommodation (but a bus will be provided for your journeys to and from your accommodation to your performance venues). You also cover any extra-curricular travel and hire of any instruments. For example, last year the hire of 1-2 double basses and 4 cellos was around €400 in total, and percussion around €300 in total.

The 2020 festivals will have participants who are Estonian, Spanish, Brazilian, Polish, Ukrainian, Chinese, French, Canadian and Mexican.
Held in small charming towns and villages across Europe, each venue has stunning surroundings and always a large audience in attendance. There is a warm welcome by the locals and after the concerts a reception is given by the local mayor.

Every morning there is a rehearsal of the united festival orchestra. Your orchestra will join this international ensemble and give two final concerts. It 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 if there are any language difficulties.

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 in triple rooms (around 300 – 350 participants usually). The age group is for secondary school and university levels, as 12 days and 9 concerts for very young musicians may be too much.

If the summer dates do not suit your orchestra, there is a further opportunity offered, whereby there is the possibility to organize a performance tour in France, Canada (Quebec), or in China. Contact the Federation International of the Eurochestries, by email:, sending the information for your orchestra, chamber ensemble or choir (photos, videos, biography, etc.) and tell them which country and the period you are interested in.

There are currently still spaces left that we hope an Irish group can fill. To take part in the festivals in 2020 or in the future, contact Eurochestries at or or see

Also, if you are interested in finding out more and meeting those involved, the annual Eurochestries Congress will be held in Casablanca, Morocco from 27 February to 1 March 2020.

Sinéad from IAYO attended this conference last year and found that it was very informative and well run with many people from across the world in attendance. She found it fascinating to hear about youth orchestras in other countries. If you wish to speak with Sinéad about her experience, please send her an email at or call 021-4215187.