The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra was established in 1987 by decision of the Council of Ministers as 'Cyprus Chamber Music Orchestra' with the aim of contributing to the development of musical education. It also sought to improve the standard of music performance in the country and become the basic driving force for the musical cultivation of Cypriots as a whole. The Cyprus State Youth Orchestra was simultaneously established aiming to provide to students at all levels of education and young musicians the possibility to gain group work experience and develop their knowledge and skills. Further, the Youth Orchestra Music Workshop was established to offer musical training on orchestral instruments given by experienced musicians, mainly members of the Symphonic Orchestra.
Since its establishment and until December 2006, the Orchestra operated under the direction of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture. In October 2006, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Foundation was created by decision of the Council of Ministers to undertake the operation of both orchestras. The Foundation began to operate on 1st January 2007, taking over the operation of the State Orchestra and the State Youth Orchestra, which were renamed to Cyprus Symphony Orchestra and Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra respectively. By so doing, the Foundation set itself the objective of further developing and promoting the activities of both orchestras. At the same time, it undertook the operation of the Music Laboratory of the Youth Orchestra. The budget of the Foundation varies between 2 and 3 million EUR per annum and mainly comes from the state grant.
The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Foundation is a non-profit organization under private law. It is administered by a nine-member Governing Board, appointed by the Council of Ministers. Three members come from the Ministry of Education and Culture: the Permanent Secretary, who chairs the Board, the Director of Cultural Services and the officer in charge of music matters. The remaining six members come from the private sector. The main sponsor of the Foundation is the State, which covers all basic operational costs of the Foundation and the Orchestras. At the same time, the Foundation endeavors to cooperate with various institutions in order to promote its activities more effectively, to organize more challenging events and to further enhance its relationship to society.
Since its inception, the Foundation has promoted its objectives to a large extent, making its presence felt among music lovers and the wider public through concerts, educational programs and social contribution activities.
The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Foundation was founded by the Governemnt of the Republic of Cyprus, as a specialized non-profit institution for the development and promotion of the art of orchestral music, the improvement of musical life and the musical culture of the country and for the further engagement of the society in music activities.
THE CYPRUS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Since its establishment, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra demonstrates a continuous presence in the local musical scene, giving concerts in all cities in the territory controlled by the Republic, and in various festivals and other official events organized by the State. The Orchestra has a rich repertoire to present, with works from the Baroque period, classical, romantic and modern music, as well as light Greek and foreign music. The Orchestra sets up more than twenty shows every year and gives about 60-70 concerts in all cities of Cyprus, and in some cases abroad.
THE CYPRUS STATE YOUTH ORCHESTRA
The Cyprus State Youth Orchestra was established simultaneously with the Cyprus Chamber Music Orchestra in 1987, following a decision of the Council of Ministers and operated under the direction of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture until the end of 2006. It is a member of European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO).
Important part of the activities of the Cyprus State Youth Orchestra is the international Summer Music Academy and the Spring Music Camp in Pedoulas at the Gymnasium of the village, where significant restoration and improvement works were carried out with the efforts of the Orchestra and the assistance and cooperation of both the Community Council of Pedoulas and the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture. During the works of the Summer Academy, the Orchestra is preparing a music program, which is presented at the International Festival 'Kypria' every year since 2007. In 2010, the Youth Orchestra made a successful appearance at the 1st International Festival of Youth Orchestras held in Istanbul, European Capital of Culture 2010. In 2012, they presented Beethoven's 9th Symphony in two concerts titled “Towards a Europe of Peace” in cooperation with the World Youth Choir, as well as Cypriot and foreign soloists.
CYSO is a specialized national institution for music working with various operators in the fields of education, culture, youth, local authorities, NGOs and diplomacy. At the same time it embrasses thousands of audiences attending CYSO concerts and social outreach programmes. Being an ambassador of intercultural dialogue, CYSO is able to mobilize wide range of international, national and local stakeholders towards a join aim.
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