The Frenergy Tour

First-Ever Collaboration Between the Two Orchestras Made Possible by the European Union Delegation to Canada

For Immediate Release, Thursday, September 12, 2019, Toronto, ON

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) and the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) are joining forces for The Frenergy Tour, a landmark collaboration and celebration of music and friendship, featuring a combined total of 76 outstanding young musicians. Acclaimed Viennese conductor Sascha Goetzel leads the four-city tour, with music by Rossini, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, and Wagner, as well as Canadian composer John Estacio’s Frenergy for orchestra, connoting both friendship and frenetic energy! Fast-rising violinist and NYO Canada alumnus Blake Pouliot is featured as guest soloist. This ground-breaking tour, including concerts in Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, and Ottawa, is made possible by the European Union Delegation to Canada.

“The Frenergy Tour reflects the depth of EU-Canada’s friendship and our shared commitment to supporting youth and the arts community. It is wonderful to see young European and Canadian musicians come together, united by their shared love of music,” said European Union Ambassador Peteris Ustubs. “Intercultural exchanges, such as this concert tour, have the power to connect people and build bridges of mutual understanding and respect.”

Marshall Marcus, Secretary General of The European Union Youth Orchestra comments: “As a cultural ambassador for the European Union of more than 40 years, it is a great pleasure and a tremendous opportunity for the EUYO to be taking part in this EU-funded tour together with NYO Canada. Audiences in Canada will not only witness the highest possible calibre of performance, they will also experience one of the world’s most potent and important forces: the coming together of young people of different nations to work in harmony and dedication.”

Conductor Sascha Goetzel is acclaimed by The Guardian as “the consummate showman… [with] fine sense of orchestral colors.” Artistic Director of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra since 2009, Goetzel leads the vibrant program in all four cities. Each concert opens with John Estacio’s vigorous Frenergy for orchestra, which has been performed widely since its 1998 premiere by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The JUNO-nominated violinist and NYO Canada alumnus (2012-13) Blake Pouliot, recent winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Virginia Parker Prize, is the soloist for Saint-Saëns’ beloved Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op. 28 and in Ravel’s fiery Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra. The exhilarating programme also includes Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser (Paris Version), Rossini’s Overture to William Tell, and the Suite from The Firebird (1945 revision) by Stravinsky.

Barbara Smith, President and CEO of the National Youth Orchestra Canada affirms: “As we confront a future filled with uncertainty and fragmentation, music offers bridges to understanding, co-operation, beauty, and transformation. Each partner organization – EU, EUYO, and NYO – has already demonstrated commitment to the highest standards and ideals. Now, our vision is to develop a truly global network of young creators embracing their role as change agents, leveraging their capacity as artists to touch hearts and minds.”

The Frenergy Tour – Performance Schedule


Toronto: Tuesday, November 12, 7:30 pm

Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West
Tickets $ 23 / $33
Link to purchase

Kingston: Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 pm

Isabel Bader Centre, 390 King Street West
Tickets $19- $59
Link to purchase

Montreal: Thursday, November 14, 7:30 pm

Notre-Dame Basilica, 110 Notre-Dame St W
Entrance by donation to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s educational program, La Musique aux enfants.

Ottawa: Sunday, November 17, 3:00pm

The National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street
Tickets $15 / $25
Link to purchase

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada), has enjoyed an iconic reputation as Canada’s orchestral finishing school, providing the most comprehensive and in-depth training program available to our country’s best young classical musicians. Each summer, 100 gifted musicians between the ages of 16 and 28 come together to attend an 8-week intensive training institute followed by a national and international tour. The orchestra is the subject of “That Higher Level,” a new feature-length documentary from the National Film Board of Canada. 

The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) is one of the world’s preeminent symphony orchestras. It has been a Cultural Ambassador for the EU for more than forty years and during that time has worked with many of the world’s greatest musicians. During 2019 the Orchestra performs across the EU, North America, the Middle East and South East Asia, working with young musicians from Canada, Cuba, China and Myanmar, as well as all (currently 28) EU Member States.

The Delegation of the European Union to Canada was established in 1976 and is a fully-fledged diplomatic mission and, as such, the natural contact point in Canada between the EU and the Canadian authorities. It also has a strong public diplomacy mandate designed to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the European Union as well as EU-Canada relations.

Media Contacts

For The Frenergy Tour   
Shira Gilbert

For the EU Delegation   
Diodora Bucur          

Daniele Milazzo                                  
+44 7471 992975