As part of an orchestra partnership between the Western Balkans Youth Orchestra (WBYO) and the East Bavarian Youth Symphony Orchestra (OJO), OJO invited 17 young musicians from the WBYO to the Final concert phase of the 2021/2022 working year from September 5th to 11th, 2022.
38 young musicians aged 14 to 26, who mainly come from the rural regions of the districts of Lower Bavaria, Upper Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate, met 17 young musicians aged 17 - 26, from the non-EU Western Balkan countries. Two orchestras from completely different cultures, which probably had no points of contact with the other culture before.
For this purpose, the guests traveled from their respective countries by plane to Munich on Monday, September 5th, 2022.
In the following days, symphonic works were performed under the direction of professional musicians from the Munich Symphony Orchestra (Boris Stansky, cello; Prof. Dr. Orhan Ahiskal, 1st violin; Sebastian Taddei, horn/brass), the Regensburg Symphony Orchestra (Sandor Galgoczi, 2nd violin ; Berkcan Ertan, doublebass) the Essen Philharmonic (Andreas Gosling, oboe/woodwinds) and freelance professional musicians (Bernhard Stahl, timpani/drums; Anca Moosmüller, viola).
In addition to voice and register rehearsals under the direction of the respective lecturers, the orchestra was brought together in the tutti rehearsals under the overall direction of Desar Sulejmani.
The international meeting of the OJO and the WBYO did not only stand for musical exchange and the joint development of a demanding, symphonic program, but also for intensive social interaction.
Since they first met, the members of the two orchestras spent a lot of time together outside of rehearsals, organized table tennis tournaments, made chamber music on their own, organized trips in small groups to nearby Regensburg or to the landmark "Walhalla", played board games, and spent the evenings together in the “Schlosskuchl”, we learned dances and customs of the different cultures, as well as one or the other idiom of the respective language. Plans for private visits were diligently made and the intensive exchange often lasted until the early hours of the morning.
Some groups of both orchestras used the free time on the concert days for further excursions to Landshut or Munich.
The crowning glory of the joint week of rehearsals was the three final concerts, which took place on September 9th, 2022 in the concert hall of the Music Academy Alteglofsheim, on September 10th, 2022 in the state hall of Landshut and on September 11th, 2022 in the monastery church in Oberalteich.
Due to the intensive time in the five previous days, the performances were accompanied by a very happy, tense and highly motivated atmosphere.
In conclusion, we can say that the "OJO meets WBYO" project was a more than successful start to a long-term partnership in every respect.
On one side of the project was the musical work, the development of the young musicians on the instrument, high-quality further training in cooperation with professional musicians and the creation of a special musical atmosphere through the cooperation of two culturally different youth orchestras.
On the other hand there was the interpersonal exchange, the broadening of one's own horizon through insights into a completely foreign culture and the responsibility that each participant had towards his colleagues.
It was impressive to experience in what short time it is possible to establish close contact and how much these two orchestras have merged into one orchestra in just one week.