Career highlights:

  • Co-founder of the International Youth Foundation of Great Britain 1969
  • Co-founder of the European Community Youth Orchestra (now EUYO) 1974
  • 'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres' (French Government) 1996
  • 'Woman of the Year for Arts' (European Union of Women) 1996
  • ‘Honorary Fellow’ (Royal Academy of Music in London) 1996
  • 'Officier de l'Ordre Grand-Ducal de la Couronne de Chêne' (Luxembourg Government) 1997
  • ‘Honorary Membership’ (Guildhall School of Music & Drama) 1997
  • ‘Medal from President Gil Robles’ (European Parliament) 1998
  • Honouree of 'The Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World' 2002
  • 'Comandante della Repubblica Italiana' 2004
  • ‘UK Woman of Europe award’ 2005



Early Career:

Born in Boston and educated in Boston, Mexico City and at the Sorbonne in Paris, studying History and International Relations, she came to Europe in 1956 when she married Lionel Bryer and settled in London. She established her own public relations firm with a clientele of film stars and leading international firms.


International Youth Foundation:

In 1969 Joy Bryer and her husband founded the International Youth Foundation of Great Britain, with Sir Edward Heath KG, as the first President. The International Youth Foundation is an educational charity devoted to promoting international cooperation and understanding amongst the youth of the world, working particularly through culture. Their first major project of the Foundation was the International Festival of Youth Orchestras and Performing Arts which was founded in 1969. Joy Bryer organised and raised extensive funds for ten major festivals in which leading youth orchestras, ballet, folk, choral, dance, opera and visual arts groups took part, first in Switzerland and later in Great Britain and Italy. She travelled throughout the world finding groups to bring to the Festivals, from the Far East, North and South America and every part of Europe.


European Union Youth Orchestra:

When Great Britain joined the European Community, Joy Bryer and her husband founded the European Community Youth Orchestra in 1974, later re-named the European Union Youth Orchestra in 1995. The Orchestra set out to demonstrate through music the cooperation of European youth and to be a symbol of the European ideal - a united community of nations working together for peace, harmony, social justice and human dignity. Since its first tour in 1978 the Orchestra has achieved a worldwide reputation for excellence. In 1986 the EUYO was awarded the Olympia Prize by the Onassis Foundation, in 1990 it won the first ever "Prix d'Initiative Européenne" and in 1991 the European Media Prize.


Joy Bryer is the motivating force behind the orchestra and has worked tirelessly for its great success. Through her work with the EUYO she has helped found the first Italian, Greek and Asian Youth Orchestras and has worked indefatigably to help young musicians with scholarship, career and educational programmes. She has appeared on radio and television all over the world with her passionate message that access to culture is a fundamental human right and her plea to governments and institutions to create the social and economic conditions for this right to be enjoyed. From 1976 to 2012, she served as Secretary General of the EUYO, until becoming its President in 2013. Mrs Bryer is now one of the most renowned cultural ambassadors in Europe and beyond.