The Idea of EUphony

The EUphony Orchestra is not just one of many up-and-coming orchestras to rehearse and perform pieces. What began as a partnership of the Kunstuniversität Graz with its southeastern partners Belgrade, Budapest, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Sarajevo has become an dynamic and future-oriented cooperation project with newly added partners and a unique exceptional concept.

In addition to bringing together young musicians of different cultural backgrounds, the orchestra’s projects have for several years been explicitly aimed at finding and developing forward-looking, exemplary and career-oriented approaches to orchestral education in order to best equip students for the professional life they are looking for and to prepare in a practice-oriented way.

Being aware of the fact that this area of ​​instrumental education is not only expandable, but urgently needs to be expanded and in order to be able to drive this purposefully and on a broad basis, the Kunstuniversität Graz held a symposium „Innovative orchestra studies for artistic development and employability – Identification of the context“.

Together with representatives of the universities of The Hague and Zurich, who are already developing innovative approaches in the field of orchestral education, Clemens Hellsberg and Dietmar Flury, as representatives of the Vienna Philharmonic and Dirk Kaftan and Philippe Herreweghe as conductors, have taken discourses with the representatives of the partner institutions of EUphony.

Through the concept of orchestra education developed by Daniel Geiß, interesting and important topics emerged, which are groundbreaking for the projects of the EUphony Orchestra as an exemplary approach for an essential further development and renewal of orchestra education.

  • Merging of different musician training traditions of the participating universities in the individual sections

  • Substantial training of the interaction within the sections

  • Chamber music as a basis for orchestral playing

  • English for musicians

  • Practical theory lessons as part of orchestral rehearsals (music history, harmony and theory of form)

  • Music mediation workshops

  • Working side by side with world class lecturers in chamber- and orchestra sessions

Daniel Geiss

concept for orchestra education

Daniel Geiss’s presentation of the concept for orchestral education, which meets the above criteria to a high degree, has led the partner institutions to entrust him with the content redesigning and further development of the projects of the EUphony Orchestra.

In cooperation with professional orchestra musicians, the orchestra project will become an „orchestra workshop“. In addition to the voice and register rehearsals, students will benefit from playing in chamber music groups as a basis for deliberate and active music-making within a sectional and thus within the entire orchestra. Most music students have little or no experience working in a group – listening to each other, finding a balance with their peers and, in general, interacting adequately in a larger group of musicians.

They practice and work predominantly soloistically – occasionally in chamber music formations – but often only with the aim of rehearsing a work without having the time to develop their work with and in the group as an essential foundation of their profession as a musician

The cellist and conductor Daniel Geiss has dealt with this problem from his own orchestral experience (many young musicians fail because of the above reasons in their probationary year) and has been offering workshops on this topic for several years.