The 1st working phase of WBYO was originally scheduled for the period March 1-14, 2020, but had to be postponed due to the development of the Corona pandemic. A couple of new dates had to be discarded one after the other - for the same reason. But in October 2021, 1 1/2 years later, the WBYO was finally able to take off: On 8. October 2021, 30 professional young musicians from the 6 non-EU Western Balkan countries* (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) with two guests from Germany were to come together in Prishtina/Kosovo for their first "real" working phase - in this first round as a string orchestra. On 7. Octobre 2021, the orchestra members were collected by the WBYO tour bus from their different locations in the Western Balkans. The first days were packed with masterclasses of the different instrument groups at the Music Faculty of the University of Prishtina, headed by an international spectrum of eminent lecturers. In the afternoons and evenings, the orchestra convened for tutti rehearsals under the guidance of WBYO artistic director and conductor Desar Sulejmani.
Originally, the concert tour was planned to offer concerts in all 6 WB countries*. Due to the impediments of the Corona situation, this time the concert tour was limited to only 3 cities rather close by, in order to minimize the risks for the tour. On 14. October, the first concert was given in the Red Hall in Pristhina. Due to the pandemic situation, only some 60-70 persons were able to witness this inaugural concert of this orchestra - a great moment! On 15. October, the tour bus brought the orchestra to Skopje/North Macedonia. In the evening, the orchestra had its second appearance in the beautiful concert hall of the North Macedonian Philharmony, which is blessed with phantastic acoustics. The concert was part of the Festival Skena e Muzikës Serioze Shqiptare. Again, the restrictions due to Corona limited the size of the audience. But some 150 music lovers could enjoy a sparkling performance. Next day, the tour bus moved on to Tirana/Albania, where on 17. October the final concert was given as part of the German October, a row of cultural events presented by the German Embassy in Tirana. The venue of this evening was the concert hall in the lower level of the Orthodox Resurrection Cathedral - again a phantastic setting for an inspring evening of music.
This first working phase and concert tour found a lot of interest by local and international media. Here you find some of the recordings and clippings, as well as photos and videos of the events.
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 which could not be visited this time are definitely part of these plans.
|07.10.2021||Arrival of participants||Pristina|
|08.-14.10.2021||Master classes and orchestra rehearsals||Pristina|
|14.10.2021||1st concert||Pristina||Red Hall|
|15.10.2021||2nd concert||Skopje||Concert Hall of the North Macedonian Philharmony|
|17.10.2021||3rd concert||Tirana||Concert Hall of the Orthodox Church|
|Concert Programme||see below|
|1st Violins||BALOGLU, Önder, Turkey/Germany||Duisburger Philharmoniker|
|2nd Violins||TEZUKA, Yukiko, Japan/Austria||Camerata Salzburg|
|Czech Philharmonic Orchestra|
|Violoncellos||HERNANDEZ SUAREZ, Diego, Spain/Germany||
Quart.essence String Quartet,
Euphonia Orchestra Munich
|Double Basses||VYBÍRAL, Tomáš, Czech Republic||National Opera Orchestra Prague|
|Artistic Director & Conductor||SULEJMANI, Desar, Germany||German Rhine Philharmonic Orchestra|
|Musicians (CVs here)|
Autumn 2021 in Prishtina, Skopje, Tirana
Many strings, one direction!
Peter Warlock (1894 – 1930)
Capriol Suite for String Orchestra
Basse-Dance & Mattachins (Sword Dance)
Alexandre Tansman (1897 - 1986)
Variation for string orchestra on a theme by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1751 – 1791)
Piano Concerto in A Major, KV 414
Dag Ivar Wirén (1905 - 1986)
Serenade for String Orchestra Op. 11
Gustav Holst (1874 – 1934)
St. Paul's Suite
Finale (The Dargarson)
Western Balkans Youth Orchestra
Desar Sulejmani, Piano & Conductor
To support the next step of WBYO - the working phase and concert tour of Octobre 2021 - eight clubs of the Rotary family in Aachen invited the Rotary Orchester Deutschland to give a big open air charity concert in Aachen in June 2021. Tickets were being distributed and donations collected beginning autumn 2020. So there was already a substantial amount of donations available when in February 2021 the concert had to be postponed to 2023 due to the Corona situation. Still, the donations were made available for the project, together with the unused funds from the first attempt of March 2020 which had to be cancelled due to Corona.
With special thanks to the Rotary Orchester Deutschland whose members were to give the concert free of charge and carry their costs themselves.
*) In the WBYO context, the designation is without prejudice about positions on status.