Big Band Composition Contest for Young Baltic and Nordic Composers

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 countries, Norway and Sweden.

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.

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


APPLICATION has to be submitted electronically by June 30, 2023, 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 States, Norway or Sweden.

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 - Raul Sööt (Estonia), Ēriks Ešenvalds (Latvia), Pranas Kentra (Lithuania), Helge Sunde (Norway), and Peter Danemo (Sweden).

The contest is held in three rounds. The jury will first evaluate the scores submitted by the participants and make a pre-selection. On October 27, 2023, the pre-selected compositions will be performed in the semi-final concert in the Ziedona Hall of the National Library of Latvia by the united Big Band of the students of JVLMA, RDKS (Riga Dome Choir School), JMRMV (Jazeps Medins Riga Music Secondary school), Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Music, and The Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Soloist Aija Vitolina. After the concert the jury will announce three finalists whose compositions will be performed by the Latvian Radio Big Band and Aija Vitolina in the final of the contest on November 30, 2023. 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 23 to 27 both in person at JVLMA (for instrumentalists and composers) and online (composition / Ē. Ešenvalds).

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, this year also inviting young composers, musicians and jury members from Norway and Sweden to participate in the project.

Contacts - Indrikis Veitners, Head of JVLMA Jazz Department, e-mail

The Contest is supported by the Erasmus+ programme, State Culture Cpital Fund of Latvia, the national concert agency "Latvijas Koncerti", and kindly hosted by the National Library of Latvia.

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