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 to equal parts of Cuban and 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.