When you think about Slovakia’s music, you are bound to imagine folklore songs or perhaps symphony orchestras, but not jazz bands. However, the famous FATS JAZZ BAND has forged a great reputation for itself among fans and critics, both in Slovakia and abroad. Although the Fats Jazz Band has only been around for four years, they have many supporters throughout Europe. They perform regularly in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Croatia and Italy.

When it comes to choral music, few will question the fact that the northern European countries have a greater tradition of choral singing than the southern Mediterranean countries. People living in the Mediterranean spend most of their time participating in outdoor activities. In relation to the Maltese archipelago, another potential explanation for this is that there is no record at all of folk songs in our culture. Thus the Maltese attitude towards choral singing was somewhat lukewarm.

It might seem idealistic to think that music can change the world. But imagine this: a hundred young people from ten countries across the entire Baltic Sea region, some of which were once at war with one other. These hard-working, hopeful students sit together, talk together, eat together, make music together and learn from one another. Led by some of today’s finest musicians, they bring wonderful music to audiences throughout Europe. And then they return to their home countries, taking with them new-found wisdom and friendships. This, essentially, is the idea behind the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP).