Welcome to the webpage of the Western Balkans Youth Orchestra (WBYO)!
The WBYO was founded in 2019 as a platform for the cooperation of young professional musicians of the 6 Non-EU Western Balkans countries* (Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia). It seeks to unite the region's youth, breaking down barriers and fostering long-lasting peace, featuring genres from classical to pop and rock music. The platform for young musicians works across national, ethnic, religious, and cultural divides, contributing to ongoing cross-border and interethnic cooperation. See idea and mission of the project.
Hurdles at the start
Shortly before the first work phase and concert tour could start in March 2020, the Corona Pandemic destroyed all plans. Even though at least one online concert project was successful in winter 2020, the orchestra could not really get going until October 2021. Some restrictions still remained, but 30 musicians were able to rehearse together for a week in Pristina/Kosovo as a pure string orchestra. This was followed by a concert tour, which - due to ongoing corona restrictions - was limited to performances in Pristina, Skopje/North Macedonia and Tirana/Albania. .
But then the project quickly picked up speed:
Funding - a never ending challenge
Obtaining the necessary funding always tied up a lot of the organizers' time and energy. At the beginning of 2023, the orchestra, together with its partners in the Western Balkans, in Germany and Belgium, was delighted to receive the important commitment of EU funding over a period of 4 years. This project is called WBYO Accelerando and has its own website. However, since it does not represent full funding, the issue of fundraising remains a challenge for the orchestra. To provide support here, the ProWBYO association was founded in March.
WBYO now in its second stage
Two projects have already been successfully completed under the umbrella of WBYO Accelerando:
We invite you to browse through our webpage, learn about our goals, our projects and concerts, our musicians! In the media section, see the photos and videos and join us on our working phases and concert tours! See the extensive media resonance we receive where we play. See our supporters whithout which the orchestra simply wouldn't be. And see comments on the project from inside and outside of the orchestra. We'll be happy to receive also your comments! We invite you to attend one of the upcoming live performances of the WBYO and will be grateful for your support.
WBYO Artistic Director
and the WBYO team
Summer project 2023 great success
14.08.2023: With the concert in Essen the Western Balkans go dance project is finished with standing ovations. More...
ProWBYO support association started
01.03.2023: Nine individuals from Aachen and Bonn/Germany found a charity association to support WBYO. More...
WBYO receives major EU grant
28.02.2023: Together with 10 partners, WBYO receives grant for WBYO Accelerando project. More...
Summer Tour 2022 on the way
21.07.2022: Under the motto "New Ways" WBYO tours through 10 cities in the Western Balkans and Germany. More...
WBYO at Europe Day 2022, Novi Sad
05.05.2022: WBYO in concert May 9th, 2022 on Liberty Square of Novi Sad, European Capital of Culture 2022.
At last - WBYO on stage!
17.10.2021: First successful concerts in Prishtina, Skopje and Tirana, after an intense week of masterclasses and rehearsals. More.
The WBYO bus is rolling!
07.10.2021: Touring between Tirana, Podgorica, Prishtina and Belgrade, to pick up participating musicians from all over WB for the 1st working phase and concert tour of WBYO.
See you soon!
First WBYO recordings are online!
21.12.2020: Corona could not stop us! See and hear the first appearances of the WBYO! Virtual recordings end months of silence.
June 2021: WBYO meets Rotary Orchestra Germany (ROD)
20.10.2020: WBYO art director Desar Sulejmani will conduct and six young WBYO musicians play at ROD charity concert in Aachen and Maastricht.
Postponed due to COVID-19...
Fighting Corona: A Taste of WBYO -
Online Performances on YouTube
We Want to Hear You! Musicians Invited to Record for WBYO Fanpage
03.06.2020: WBYO management invited each musician of the first phase to record a small piece for the Facebook fanpage of WBYO.
26.05.2020: WBYO on Facebook!
Successful Charity Concert for WBYO in Aachen/Germany
Aachen, 15.02.2020: Five alumni and three tutors of the ESMA European Summer Music Academy gave a charity concert in Aachen/Germany for the benefit of the WBYO project, organized by the Rotary Clubs Aachen-Land, Aachen-Charlemagne and Aachen-Nordkreis.
WBYO Inauguration Concert set for March 7 in Tirana - a Corona victim
Tirana, 28.01.2020: The first concert tour of WBYO is planned to start in the beautiful auditorium of the Cultural Center of the new Orthodox Church in Tirana. Two days before the tour the whole project has to be cancelled due to Corona. More...
*) In the WBYO context, the designation is without prejudice about positions on status.