Neojibá © Karol Azevedo e Eduardo Tosta


Neojibá - Youth Orchestra of Bahia

19.05.25 - 03.06.25

about the tour.

Following the success of previous tours, the Brazilian youth orchestra Neojibá will again embark on a European tour in spring 2025 under the direction of Ricardo Castro, touring Germany, Austria, BeNeLux, France and Italy. In addition to Lucas and Arthur Jussen, the young talents will also be supported in their tousing programs by the Brazilian violinist Guido Sant’Anna.

Antonio Carlos Gomes: Lo Schiavo (1889) - Prelude

Golijov - Grau: Nazareno (2000/2009)


Werk: tbc


Leonard Bernstein: Symphonische Tänze aus: West Side Story


Heitor Villa-Lobos: Chôros Nr. 6



Your contact persons:

Manuela Krug

Senior Project Manager

+49 511 36607-75

An Orchestra full of experience.

Biography – about the orchestra.

The State Nucleus of Youth and Children's Orchestras of Bahia (NEOJIBA) are an innovative example of public policy that combines the areas of Culture, Education and Social Development. The program was created in 2007 by pianist, educator, conductor and cultural manager Ricardo Castro and is linked to the Department of Justice and Human Rights. The initiative is managed by the Institute for Social Development through Music (IDSM), founded in 2008 to promote, encourage and support development and social interaction through collective musical practice.

The methodology of the NEOJIBA program is inspired by a didactic-musical model of human development, created by José Antônio Abreu, in Venezuela, in 1975, today recognized worldwide as El Sistema , one of the most successful initiatives of its kind in history.

Since 2007, more than 12,000 children, adolescents and young people throughout Bahia have benefited from the actions of the NEOJIBA program. Its organizational structure has a total of 13 centers, with the Central Center NEOJIBA, located in Salvador, plus 3 Territorial Centers NEOJIBA in: Feira de Santana; Teixeira de Freitas and Vitória da Conquista and 9 Nuclei of Musical Practice (NPM), based in different districts of the capital and in three other municipalities of the state: Simões Filho, Jequié and Lauro de Freitas. Currently, NEOJIBA serves 2,324 members directly in its Centers, and  4,500  indirectly in support actions for partner musical initiatives. 

However, for the general public, the result of this work is revealed above all in the musical quality of the Orquestra 2 de Julho (former Orquestra Juvenil da Bahia) – the first and main orchestral formation of the NEOJIBA program. It consists of teenagers and young people up to 27 years old. It was the first Brazilian youth orchestra to perform in Europe, in 2010 and since then it has performed 8 tours in Brazil and abroad.   As of 2020, the Orquestra Juvenil da Bahia, or NEOJIBA, as it is called when on tour, will be formed, through internal selection processes, of musicians from the various orchestral formations of all the Nuclei of NEOJIBA.

The founder and general director of the NEOJIBA Program, maestro Ricardo Castro, is the titular conductor of the 2 de orchestra. Prize-winning pianist with an international career, in 2011 he was elected Cultural Personality of the Year by the 'Bravo!' in recognition of his work with the youth members of the program. In 2013, he was the first Brazilian to receive an Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society. The title has only been awarded 131 times in 200 years to personalities such as Brahms, Liszt or Stravinsky, in recognition of important services rendered to music. In September 2020, Ricardo Castro also joins the faculty of the Haute École de Musique de Geneva, in Switzerland, as a piano teacher in masters and doctoral programs.



Ricardo Castro

Ricardo Castro © Karol Azevedo e Eduardo Tosta

In 1993, Ricardo Castro received the first prize at the prestigious International Piano Competition in Leeds, England, becoming the only Latin American to win the prestigious prize. Twenty years later, he became the first Brazilian to be made an honorary member of the Royal Philharmonic Society. This appointment places him alongside illustrious personalities in the history of Western music.

Born in Brazil, Ricardo Castro revealed an obvious interest and facility for the piano from the age of three. At the age of five, attracting the attention of Professor Esther Cardoso, a student of Marguerite Long, he was exceptionally admitted to the School of Music of the Federal University of Bahia and started to perform in recital soon after.  At the age of 10 he was playing as a soloist with orchestra.

In 1984, Ricardo Castro began his musical studies in Europe, entering the Geneva Music Conservatory in the virtuosity class of Maria Tipo and in the orchestral conducting class of Arpad Gerecz. He won first prizes at the Rahn competition in Zurich in 1985 and the Pembaur competition in Bern in 1986, before leaving the Geneva Conservatory in 1987 with the "First Prize for Virtuosity with Distinction and Congratulations from the Jury". The same year, he was the ex-aequo winner of the ARD international competition in Munich and in 1988, he received 3rd prize in the Geza Anda competition.

Shortly after, he completed his piano studies in Paris with Dominique Merlet. After winning the Leeds competition, he was considered a "Marketing Dream" by the British press, hence the many invitations to perform with major orchestras such as the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the BBC London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, City of Birmingham Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchester de la Suisse Romande, Salzburg Mozarteum and many more. His partners include Sir Simon Rattle, Martha Argerich, Leif Segerstam, Kazimierz Kord and Midori.

In 2003 he created a piano duo with Maria João Pires, with whom he recorded a CD at Deutsche Grammophon, with works by Franz Schubert in solo and four hands. He recorded several other CDs for the BMG-Arte Nova label, all of which received critical acclaim.

In 2007, at the invitation of the state government of Bahia, Castro created the NEOJIBA (Centres of Juvenile and Infantile Orchestras of Bahia), a pioneering program in Brazil inspired by El Sistema in Venezuela which has already benefited more than 12,000 children, teenagers and young people. General Manager of NEOJIBA, Ricardo Castro is also the artistic director of the NEOJIBA Orchestra, the first Brazilian youth orchestra to perform in Europe.

Since its creation, the orchestra has given hundreds of concerts in Brazil and made eight international tours with presentations in the most prestigious concert halls in Europe and the United States.

In September 2020, Ricardo Castro was appointed professor at the prestigious Haute École de Musique de Genève, where he heads the department of keyboard instruments. He also teaches at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Italy, where in 2018 he created a course on "Orchestral conducting from the keyboard".



Lucas & Arthur Jussen, Piano

© Marco Borggreve

‘It is like driving a pair of BMWs’, remarked conductor Michael Schønwandt, after directing the Dutch brothers Lucas (30) and Arthur Jussen (26). Despite their young age, they have been part of the international concert world for years and are praised vigorously by both press and audience.

The Jussen brothers have performed with orchestras such as the Boston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestras, Concertgebouworkest, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, as well as Montréal, Sydney, Singapore and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras. They collaborate with renowned conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Christoph Eschenbach, Iván Fischer, Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Jaap van Zweden.

In July 2022, the Jussen brothers made their debut at the Tanglewood Festival (USA). Together with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Andris Nelsons, they gave the US premiere of "Anka kuşu" (Phoenix) for piano four-hands and orchestra, written for them by Fazıl Say. In the beginning of the new season, they will tour Europe together with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer. Guest engagements in 2022/2023 will take them to Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, WDR Sinfonieorchester and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. They are also "Artists in Residence" with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano. In recitals, the duo can be seen in Berlin, London, Paris, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Essen and Dortmund.

Lucas and Arthur received their first piano lessons in their native town of Hilversum. It became clear quickly that they were great talents. As children, they were already invited to perform for the Dutch Queen Beatrix. First awards at competitions followed shortly. In 2005, the brothers studied in Portugal and Brazil for nearly a year at the invitation of Portuguese master pianist Maria João Pires. During the following years they took lessons from both Pires and two renowned Dutch teachers. Lucas completed his studies with Menahem Pressler in the US and with Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid. Arthur graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he studied with Jan Wijn.

Recording exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon since 2010, their debut CD with works by Beethoven received platinum status and was awarded the Edison Klassiek audience award. A Schubert recording and Jeux, a CD dedicated to French piano music, were subsequently released. Their recording of Mozart’s piano concertos KV 365 and KV 242 together with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner reached gold status. The Jussen brothers also recorded Poulenc’s double piano concerto and Saint-Saëns’ ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ with the Concertgebouworkest and Stéphane Denève, as well as concertos and chorales by Bach with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. On "The Russian Album" (March 2021) they interpret works for two pianos by Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Arensky. The latest addition to their discography is "Dutch Masters" (April 2022) which is devoted to works by Dutch composers, including a collaboration with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Karina Canellakis. The recording was awarded an Edison Klassiek in the category "Chamber Music" as well as the audience award in September 2022.

SEASON 2022/2023

Guido Sant'Anna, Violin

Guido Sant'Anna © Cauê Diniz

Born in 2005 in São Paulo, Brazil, Guido Sant’Anna achieved international acclaim in 2022 when he became the first South American violinist to win the prestigious Fritz Kreisler International Competition. His triumph in Vienna was preceded by another historic achievement in 2018, when he became the first Brazilian violinist invited to the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in Geneva, winning both the Audience Prize and the Chamber Music Award. His numerous accomplishments have earned him a coveted place on Forbes Brazil’s “30 under 30” 2022 list.

Sant’Anna has performed as soloist both in Brazil and abroad with eminent orchestras; at home he has developed a close connection to the São Paulo State Symphony and Minas Gerais Philharmonic orchestras, establishing himself as a familiar presence to local audiences. In October 2022 he stepped in for Christian Tetzlaff in São Paulo with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, play-conducting Brahms’ violin concerto, receiving rave reviews. For his winning performance at the Fritz Kreisler International Competition, he played with the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien under Alexander Joel at the Musikverein. Previous collaborations include the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra, Municipal Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo and Symphony Orchestra of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, with his repertoire featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Ravel. Recital dates include appearances in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Brazil and Paraguay.

In June 2023 Sant’Anna makes his anticipated Rheingau Musik Festival debut with the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt under the baton of its Music Director Alain Altinoglu, performing Édouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. His debut in Rheingau will be followed by concerts in his hometown performing Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, with Thierry Fischer conducting the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. These performances will constitute his debut recording project for the Naxos Records label. Further afield in autumn 2023 Sant’Anna makes his Asian debut, embarking on a recital tour of South Korea. In spring 2025 Guido will join the Neojibá Youth Orchestra of Bahia on a European tour, along with soloists Lucas and Arthur Jussen, under the direction of Ricardo Castro.

Sant’Anna began his violin lessons at the age of five, giving his orchestral debut at the age of seven under the baton of conductor Júlio Medaglia. Aged eight, Guido was a finalist at the Prelúdio Competition, promoted by TV Cultura, São Paulo. He has been a Cultura Artística scholar since 2012, under the guidance of his tutor Elisa Fukuda. Further distinctions include the Graded Outreach Program, a prestigious scholarship for exceptionally gifted Brazilian students at the American School of São Paulo, and his participation at the Perlman Music Program in 2018-19. In 2021 he emerged as the winner of the Young Soloists Competition of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and in 2022 he received the Grand Prix 2022 by CONCERTO Magazine.

Guido plays a violin made in 1874 by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, on generous loan from the luthier Marcel Richters.

Guido Sant’Anna has been supported by the KD SCHMID Fellowship Scheme since May 2023.

SEASON 2022/2023

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Silke Musfeldt

+49 511 36607-42