The Western Balkans Youth Orchestra was founded in 2019 as a platform for the cooperation of young professional musicians of the 6 Non-EU Western Balkans countries* (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia). See idea and mission of the project.
The orchestra had planned to go operational in march 2020 with its first working phase and concert tour. Everything and everybody was ready to go, but three days before the starting date, this project had to be called off due to the Corona pandemic. Several new dates were scheduled then and had also to be called off one after the other for the same reason. To maintain the momentum, in autumn 2020 an online project was launched - Building Musical Bridges in the Western Balkans.
Finally, from 8.-17. October 2021, the first "real" working phase and concert tour could be started. Due to the pertaining uncertainties of the pandemic, the concerts were limited to the three cities of Prishtina, Skopje and Tirana. The activities were widely covered by local and international media.
Thankfully, this first working phase and concert tour could be carried out without any problems. It marks an encouraging basis for the orchestra to develop and grow. Plans already are forged for the coming months and years. And the countries of the region which could not be visited this time are definitely part of these plans.
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...
New project: Building Musical Bridges - ESMA and WBYO go virtual
15.10.2020: Corona can't stop us! ESMA and WBYO musicians take online master classes and produce a virtual orchestra recording. Link
Fighting Corona: A Taste of WBYO -
Online Performances on YouTube
29.07.2020: Visit WBYO Facebook or YouTube pages to hear and see recordings of WBYO musicians.
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 on March 7 in Tirana (postponed)
Tirana, 28.01.2020: The first concert tour of WBYO starts in the beautiful auditorium of the Cultural Center of the new Orthodox Church in Tirana. The concert will be hosted by the Rotary Club Tirana. Reception after performance sponsored by German Embassy.
*) In the WBYO context, the designation is without prejudice about positions on status.