The 1st of April was the application deadline for the young Baltic composers to apply for the Big Band composition competition, organized by Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) and the Latvian Radio Big Band. The response from the participants was unexpectedly high - 21 young composers submitted their works for evaluation.
On the April 20th, the results of the pre-selection made by the jury - Rolands Kronlaks (Latvia), Jievaras Jasinskis (Lithuania) and Raul Sööt (Estonia) - will be published on the JVLMA website. The pre-selected compositions will be performed at the JVLMA and Riga Dome Choir School (RDKS) Big Band concert together with jazz vocalist Beāte Zviedre under the direction of conductor Dāvis Jurka at the Academy of Music, where the jury will decide upon the three finalists. The Closing concert of the competition will take place at the Spīķeri Concert Hall, with Beāte Zviedre performing together with the Latvian Radio Big Band led by Kārlis Vanags. Until the further notice, due to the state of emergency both concerts have been postponed to the autumn. The competition is implemented with the support of the State Culture Capital Fund.
The largest number of applications was received from Latvia, in second place - young Lithuanian musicians, third - Estonians, and two young composers from Italy and Germany, studying in the Baltics, have also submitted one composition each. Among the participants there are experienced and well-known jazz musicians, as well as recent graduates and current students of the JVLMA Jazz Music Department. The works submitted by seven Lithuanian, Estonian and Erasmus + students have added an intrigue and will allow to compare the common and different features in the works by young jazz composers in the neighboring countries.
"We are very pleased with such a result," commented one of the authors of the competition idea, the Head of JVLMA Jazz Department Indrikis Veitners.
The number and level of works submitted by the participants once again prove the ability of young jazz musicians in Latvia particularly, and in the Baltics as a whole, to compose remarkable and complex large-format compositions for a Big Band.
It shows the growing prestige of jazz music among the musicians and society in general, as well as confirms the professionalism of the young generation of musicians. In addition, the large number of Latvian participants is a clear confirmation of the renaissance of Big Band culture in our country, and there is no doubt that in the future such a competition will promote similar development in Lithuania and Estonia, where this phenomenon is less pronounced,” says Indrikis Veitners. Together with his colleagues - Latvian Radio Big Band artistic director Kārlis Vanags and JVLMA and RDKS Big Band artistic director Dāvis Jurkis he hopes to expand this competition on a much larger scale in the future.
With one self-composed piece the composers aged 18 to 30, who permanently live or study in the Baltic States, were eligible to participate in the competition. The laureates of the competition will receive money prizes: first prize - 700 EUR, second prize - 500 EUR, and third prize - 300 EUR.
After the competition, all the compositions will be publicly available at the JVLMA library.