Apply for the Big Band Composition Competition!

Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) in collaboration with the Latvian Radio Big Band launches a new initiative – the Big Band Composition Competition for Young Baltic Composers.

The aim of the competition is to discover and promote new, original compositions for big band, as well as to promote the creativity of young Baltic jazz musicians. The works of the finalists of the competition will be performed by the most professional and internationally recognised jazz orchestra in Latvia - the Latvian Radio Big Band, conducted by Kārlis Vanags. 


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

The jury consists of the representatives from all three Baltic States who have gained extensive experience and recognition both nationally and internationally - Raul Sööt (Estonia), Jievaras Jasinskis (Lithuania) and Rolands Kronlaks (Latvia).

The competition is going to be held in three rounds. The jury will first evaluate the scores submitted by the participants and make a pre-selection. On April 16, the pre-selected compositions will be performed by JVLMA and RDKS (Riga Dome Choir School) Big Band and vocalist Beate Zviedre at the JVLMA Organ Hall, after which the jury will announce three finalists whose compositions will be performed by the Latvian Radio Big Band and Beate Zviedre on April 24 at Spikeri Concert Hall. 

APPLICATIONS are to be submitted electronically by April 1, 2020.

We hope that the competition will evolve into an annual event, including masterclasses and discussions on both artistic and management topics. The need for the competition is set up by the popularity and rapid development of jazz music in the Baltic States, especially the big band movement, which needs an original, contemporary repertoire specific to our region. This unique competition at the Baltic level will enrich the original repertoire, specially composed for big band, stimulate the interest of the new generation of jazz musicians to compose for a jazz orchestra, strengthen links between the young composers themselves and give young performers the opportunity to play new music.

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

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