EU Culture Programme
From the first concert in May 1981 all the way through to 2006 the Orchestra relied exclusively on its individual and Corporate Friends to enable it to operate successfully throughout the world. In 2007 the COE was most fortunate to be appointed a Cultural Ambassador for the European Union, an arrangement which continued until the end of 2013 when the EU brought its Cultural Ambassador programme to a close.
Over the course of those seven years the COE took part in a number of high profile events, including the 50th anniversary celebrations of the signing of the Treaty of Rome in Luxembourg and London in 2007, the 10th Anniversary of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt in 2008, and at the first European Union Prize for Literature in Brussels in 2009. On New Year’s Day in 2011 the COE was invited to perform Haydn's Creation under the direction of Hungarian conductor Ivan Fischer at the Palace of Arts in Budapest to celebrate Hungary's European Presidency.
It has been a great privilege to act as a Cultural Ambassador over the last few years, and the Orchestra is very grateful for the support it has received from the European Union and hopes very much that we will find ways of co-operating together again in the future.