Young Baltic composers are welcome to participate in the second Big Band composition contest

For the second year in a row, Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music /JVLMA/ in collaboration with the Latvian Radio Big Band /LRBB/ organizes the Big Band composition contest for young Baltic composers.

More than 20 participants took part in the first contest, proving the necessity of such competition both in Latvia and overall in the Baltic States. The winners were the young Estonian jazz composer Kristina Bianca Rantala, as well as Latvian jazz musicians Jānis Rubiks and Reinis Ašmanis.

The semi-final and final concerts of the contest gathered several thousand listeners, popularizing the music culture of Big Band and giving significant creative encouragement to the new generation of jazz composers. Such a contest is one of a kind in the Baltic States, and it is very important to strengthen its course every year, making it a regular and substantial jazz occasion. The contest is supported by the State Culture Capital Fund of Latvia.

Its aim is to give rise to new, original repertoire for the Big Band, as well as to promote the creativity of young Baltic jazz musicians. This year, the same as the previous, the works of the finalists will perform one of the most eminent Latvian jazz orchestras - Latvian Radio Big Band led by Kārlis Vanags.

The contest is open to young composers aged between 18 and 30, including senior students of music high schools and colleges, students of music universities and young professionals, who are permanently living, studying or residing in the Baltic States.

The jury consists of representatives from all three Baltic States, both locally and internationally experienced and renowned musicians and composers - Raul Sööt (Estonia), Jievaras Jasinskis (Lithuania) and Rolands Kronlaks (Latvia).

The applications are to be submitted by August 1st. The contest will take place in three rounds.  First, the contest jury will get acquainted with the scores submitted by the participants and will make a pre-selection. In the semi-final concert on October 29th, the works of the selected participants  will be performed by the united JVLMA and RDKS (Riga Dome Choir School) Big Band and jazz vocalist Daumants Kalniņš. After the concert, the jury will announce three finalists, whose compositions will be performed by the Latvian Radio Big Band and Daumants Kalniņš in the Closing Concert on November 25th.

“The prerequisite for such a contest is the popularity and rapid development of jazz music in the Baltic States.

The Big Band movement recquires an original, modern repertoire typical for our region. Its regularity is an important factor in promoting interest in composing for a jazz orchestra for our new generation of composers.

A new, original repertoire particularly for Big Band is composed, as well as an opportunity for young performers to play brand new music created by their peers. Friendships between the young composers in the Baltic States are also strengthening! ” says the initiator of the contest, the Head of JVLMA Jazz Department Indrikis Veitners.

The contest rules and regulations, and application form can be found on the Contest section of the JVLMA website

Both concerts of the contest will be open to listeners. The venue, and either live or online, to be announced.

Contact information for participants:

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