The transatlantic orchestra projects are at the heart of the Cuban-European Youth Academy: Young musicians from Cuba and Europa are regularly meeting for 10-14 days, rehearsing and living together.

The orchestra consists of 50% Cuban and 50% European musicians that are selected after auditions. They receive a scholarship that covers travels, accommodation and food. Tutors of the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble are preparing the programme in sectional rehearsals. Furthermore, they are sharing their knowledge in individual classes and chamber music lessons.
In addition to the orchestra rehearsals formats on contemporary Cuban music culture are offered (e.g. Cuban dances, rhythms and music history as well as improvisation for winds and strings). All rehearsals are public, visitors are always welcome.

Making music together supports the cultural exchange by giving different impulses: the presented works relate to the different cultural backgrounds of the participant and the orchestra playing enhances listening, acceptance, sensitivity and openness.

The artistic programme of the transatlantic orchestra project features European as well as Cuban compositions. After having worked on romantic repertoire in 2015, baroque repertoire in 2016 and the classicism in 2017 (musical direction: Duncan Ward), the 2018 project focused on contemporary music (musical direction: Thomas Hengelbrock). In 2019, the transatlantic orchestra project took place in cooperation with the Orchesterzentrum NRW and featured baroque repertoire under the direction of Enrico Onofri. Regularly, CuE commissions works by young Cuban composers.



The municipality of Havana is celebrating the 500th anniversary. The Cuban-European Youth Academy will join the celebrations with a special concert as part of the annual Mozart Festival: Thomas Hengelbrock, the tutors of the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble and four soloists of the Balthasar Neumann Choir will travel to Cuba and work jointly with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra and several Cuban choirs. The concert program fulfills a hear’s desire of the Cuban project partners: presenting the “Coronation mass” by Mozart in the prestigious cathedral of Havana.

SAT, 02.11.2019 / 20:30 / HAVANA / CÁTEDRAL

Cuban Opening Fanfare
R. Schumann: Symphony No. 1
W. A. Mozart: Coronation Mass KV 317

The project is taken place with support of the Goethe Institute and in cooperation with the liaison office of the Goethe Institute in Havana.