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Big Band Composition Contest for Young Baltic and Nordic Composers

17. May, 2024

Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) in collaboration with the Latvian Radio Big Band organizes the Big Band Composition Contest for Young Composers from the Baltic and Nordic countries.

The aim of the contest is to discover and promote new, original compositions for big band, as well as to promote the creativity of young jazz musicians. 

The task is to create an extended composition for the Big Band and solo by choice – trumpet or tenor saxophone, duration – maximum 7 minutes

This year, the same as the previous ones, the works of the finalists will perform one of the most professional jazz orchestras in Europe - Latvian Radio Big Band led by Kārlis Vanags.


APPLICATION has to be submitted electronically by September 15, 2024, 23:59.

The competition is open to young composers aged between 18 and 30, including senior grade students of music secondary schools and colleges, university students and young professionals, who are permanently studying or residing in the Baltic and Nordic countries.

Prizes: 1st place - € 900, 2nd place - € 700, 3rd place - € 500

The jury consists of the representatives from all three Baltic States, Norway and Sweden, locally and internationally experienced and renowned musicians and composers - Jievaras Jasinskis (Lithuania), Jon Georg Balke (Norway), Peter Danemo (Sweden), Ēriks Ešenvalds (Latvia) and a representative from Estonia (to be announced).

The contest is held in three rounds. The jury will first evaluate the scores submitted by the participants and make a pre-selection. The Semi-final round with the jury takes place on November 1st, 2024. The pre-selected compositions are performed in the semi-final concert in the Ziedona Hall of the National Library of Latvia by the soloists and the united Big Band of the students of JVLMA, Baltic and Nordic countries, conducted by Dāvis Jurka. 

After the concert the jury will announce three finalists whose compositions will be performed by the Latvian Radio Big Band and soloists in the final of the contest on December 5, 2024. The venue - Spikeri Concert Hall.

A significant contribution to the competition is the jury members' master classes for young composers and performers, which will take place during the week from October 28 to November 1 both in person at JVLMA and online.

With this competition, which is unique in the Baltics, we want to discover unknown talents, enrich the repertoire composed for big band, strengthen the ties between the young composers themselves.