NEERPELT/CORK. - Last year, the European Music Festival for Young People, Neerpelt and the Cork International Choral Festival (Ireland) worked together closely. These two festivals built themselves a high international recognition over the years.
Each festival has its own specific atmosphere and vision. But both have one great common goal: offering choral singing, as a musical and artistic activity, to young people from all over Europe. One of the many international guests of the last European Music Festival for Young People was Mr John Fitzpatrick, artistic- and festival Director of the Cork International Choral Festival. He supports an extended collaboration with the EMJ.
John Fitzpatrick: "Both festivals exist for more than 60 years now and this year I finally managed to visit the EMJ. I am deeply impressed of what the EMJ has to offer to European youth. Most of all, I am impressed of the perfect organization and the fact that a large proportion of the local population here feels sympathy with EMJ and is integrated into the activity. Making all this possible beyond all political and ideological borders deserves credit."
"This year, a close collaboration between Cork and Neerpelt was not really possible, for during preparation we had to alter the festival dates. But my staff and me will definitely sit together with EMJ-President Rutger Nuyts and his team again to investigate possibilities for further cooperation."
"These days in Neerpelt, for instance, I especially noticed the expertise in limiting major expenses in welcoming groups from other continents in a dignified way. Receiving groups from China, Japan or Australia, for instance, is a serious cost for a festival organization. In order to limit costs, we would like to make it possible for choirs to perform both, in Neerpelt and in Cork," concludes John Fitzpatrick.