EFA supports NO BORDERS ORCHESTRA as an initiative that opens doors

18 November 2010

On 23 October 2010, directors of festivals from the Balkan region and music institutions agreed on the establishment of the NO BORDERS ORCHESTRA. The local media as well as representatives of the European Festivals Association (EFA) attended the launch of the initiative. Activities are to kick off in 2011. The meetings and the press conference took place in the framework of the Belgrade Music Festival (BEMUS). The NO BORDERS ORCHESTRA (NBO) is a collaborative project launched by a group of well established festivals and music institutions operating within the borders of the former Yugoslavian countries. Following the idea of Premil Petrovic, conductor and artistic director of NBO, to establish a cross-border Symphonic Orchestra, in 2010 the BEMUS Festival and Jugokoncert took over the responsibility for further development, promotion and production of the project. Besides having an artistic importance, the project has a strong educational and social significance. During the press conference the first activities of the initiative were announced: Auditions are to take place in different cities in March 2011. Subsequently, the Orchestra shall be composed of 80 to 100 of the best young professional musicians from the region. Their first mission will start in August 2011 with the performances of Mahler’s Symphony No.2 (Resurrection) at summer festivals in the Balkan region. In October 2011, concerts are to take place both in the region and in major European music capitals such as Brussels, Paris and Berlin. The NO BORDERS ORCHESTRA has a long term mission: in 2012, other South-Eastern European festivals will be invited to join the project. The overall goal of the project is to emphasise the necessity of cultural involvement in all aspects of social and political life. This is envisioned to be done through an educational approach – workshops, open discussions, debates, lectures – and media promotion. It aims to suppress a brain drain of young professionals from the region; to balance cultural consequences of transitional period(s) across the region; to activate the civil sector through cultural activity; and to point out the importance of an active citizenship. Furthermore, the project involves a message to politicians: culture and arts are fundamental factors of good communication, co-operation and better quality of life for everyone. The following partners are involved: Belgrade Music Festival – BEMUS; Festival Ljubljana; Jeunesses Musicales of Macedonia and the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra (Ohird Summer Festival); Jeunesses Musicales of Novi Sad (NOMUS Festival); Music Biennale Zagreb; Montenegrin Music Centre (Festivals A Tempo and Kotor Art); Re Musica Festival, Music Academy and Philharmonic Orchestra from Pristina; Sarajevo Winter Festival; Jugokoncert; Soniq Performing Arts; and Auropolis. Most of the collaborating festivals are members of the European Festivals Association (EFA). The NBO project is part of the 2010 EFA flagship project “Open The Door” which is highlighting the transformative power of arts and culture in modern societies. In the spirit of the “Open The Door” initiative, the NBO project opens the door for new performers, new audiences, new innovative venues, new visions and new social and political aspect of communication. It opens new paths of intercultural dialogue, helps the deconstruction of boundaries and stereotypes, promotes a creative society that sustains and develops quality of life, social well-being, equal opportunities for all, geographic, social and generational solidarity. “The activities of the BEMUS Festival and the launch of cross-border cultural collaboration projects such as the NO BORDERS ORCHESTRA are excellent examples to demonstrate the important role arts and culture play in a broader societal context,” underlines EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer. “EFA is delighted to see that the ‘Open the Door’ project bears fruits, strongly support the initiative and encourages other festivals to follow this example.” Find out more about the project at: