World Youth Choir
World Youth Choir

The World Youth Choir, a project of the ''Foundation World Youth Choir'' is a genuine educational and social experience drawing on many vocal traditions, aiming for the highest artistic level. By music education, professional artistic approach, multicultural social interaction and exchange the World Youth Choir unites 40 to 80 young choral singers age 18 to 30 from all over the world at projects organized in different countries each or every other year. Artistically, singers develop their musical talents by interacting with internationally renowned conductors performing choral music of various styles, time periods and the many genres of each continent at a professional level. The choir performs a cappella and also with distinguished youth or national orchestras, further expanding its message of artistic unity. Socially, and regardless of political or cultural differences, singers share up to a month of their lives together. They work, play, converse, and debate. Such communal living creates a genuine spirit of understanding, lifelong friendships, and a cohesive group with a unique bond. This is why UNESCO has awarded the World Youth Choir with the “Artist for Peace” title in 1996, recognizing its success as a platform for intercultural dialogue through music.

Original in its program

The WYC engages some of the world’s most renowned choral conductors to rehearse intensively and prepare an ambitious concert program from various vocal and choral traditions and styles. The artistic responsibility lies with an international committee of eminent specialists appointed by the International Federation for Choral Music, Jeunesses Musicales International and Europa Cantat. Since its inception, the World Youth Choir has been directed by the following choral conductors: Anton Armstrong, Frieder Bernius, Filippo Maria Bresan, Michael Brewer, Peter Broadbent, Bob Chilcott, Peter Dijkstra, Peter Erdei, Eric Ericson (†), Gunnar Eriksson, Gary Graden, Georg Grün, Maria Guinand, Aharon Harlap, Florian Heyerick, Felipe Izcaray, Sidumo Jacobs, Robert Janssens, Tonu Kaljuste, Eric Klaas, Anthony Leach, Eduardo Mata (†), Albert McNeil, Denis Menier, Theodora Pavlovitch, Grete Pedersen, Johannes Prinz, Robert Shaw(†), Ole-Kristen Ruud, Fred Sjöberg, Stefan Sköld, Paul Smith, Robert Sund, Ward Swingle (†), Nobuaki Tanaka, Andre Thomas, Jonathan Velasco, Michele Weir, Hak Won Yoon, Steve Zegree (†), Johan Duijck, Ana Maria Raga, Ragnar Rasmussen, Josep Vila I Casanas, Cecilia Rydinger Alin, Ayis Ioannides, Ken Wakia, Zoltán Pad, and Helene Stureborg.

Patronized by

  • Jeunesses Musicales International:
  • European Choral Association - Europa Cantat:
  • International Federation for Choral Music IFCM



Are you or any of your choristers/students...

  • Between 17 and 26 years old on July 1, 2020,
  • A passionate choral singer,
  • From a background of basic or semi-professional music education,
  • Ready to meet new friends all over the world,
  • Able to speak English at an intermediate level,
  • Seeking a different professional challenge, and
  • Eager to learn in a multicultural environment?

Then you are ready to apply for the 2020 World Youth Choir!

In July and August 2020, the World Youth Choir will have a special session in the frame of the festivities for the Beethoven 250th Birthday Anniversary Year. Joining the National Youth Orchestra of Germany (Bundesjugendorchester), the 2020 WYC programme will be Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and a commissioned work by Tan Dun entitled ‘’Nine’’.

  • Session dates: July 30, 2020 (day of arrival) to August 20, 2020 (day of departure).
  • Location: Rehearsal session in Bonn, Germany, followed by a tour with concerts in Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Italy
  • First concert: August 8, 2020 - Beethoven 2020 Gala concert with the first performance of Tan Dun’s ‘‘Nine’’.
  • Artistic Team: Tan Dun (USA), composer of the commissioned work, will conduct the first concerts in the tour, including the Gala concert in Bonn; Jörn Hinnerk Andresen (Germany) will conduct the remaining concerts. Soloists will be World Youth Choir alumni.

Additional opportunity

The European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, one of the patrons of the World Youth Choir, will be putting together a special European Youth Choir for the final concert of the Beethoven Anniversary year 2020 on December 17th2020. The choir will also perform Beethoven’s 9thsymphony with the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble conducted by Daniel Barenboim. In addition, they will perform a short a cappella programme directed by Simon Halsey (UK) who will also prepare the choir. Singers under 30 with a European citizenship or living in a European country can apply for this project with the same audition material – however, deadline for applications is 31/10/2019. For more information see —> activities.


Important Dates

September 2019 - Worldwide recruitment will start via national recruiters and/or direct application for countries without national recruiters. The official information will be announced via the World Youth Choir website and social media.

October 31, 2019 - Deadline for applying to the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat for the project with Daniel Barenboim and Simon Halsey as additional opportunity.

December 1, 2019 - Deadline for submitting audition materials to the international jury for the2020 World Youth Choir session. NOTE: Audition deadline dates in countries with National Recruiters may be earlier in order to facilitate national juries.

End of January 2020 - The international jury will announce the selected singers for the World Youth Choir 2020 summer session.

See WYC website for more audition details.


World Youth Choir 2019 in Cascais, Portugal, celebrating its 30th anniversary in the frame of the World Choral Expo, with conductor Josep Vila i Casañas


IFCM International Choral Magazine

Official magazine of the International Federation for Choral Music, the International Choral Magazine is published quarterly in the four official languages of IFCM: English, French, German and Spanish. It is distributed in more than 80 countries on the five continents and is the official voice of choral music around the world.

Read more
Global Choral Calendar

Our focus at the moment is to unite the choral calendars of international choral organisations. Meanwhile please consult the calendar of choral events published by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat here.

Read more