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The Finalists of the International E. Balsys competition has been selected

Jury: Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Helena Tulve,
Anton Lukoszevieze, Algirdas Martinaitis

This autumn the widely acclaimed E. Balsys Young Composers’ Competition is returning to Vilnius as one of the concluding events of Vilnius’ 700th-anniversary celebrations. The Competition continues to establish itself as one of the largest one of its kind in the Baltic region. For the first round of this year’s competition almost fifty composers from 17 countries sent in their scores. After a couple of weeks of intensive work and deliberations, the members of the jury – composers Helena Tulve (Estonia), Ēriks Ešenvalds (Latvia), Žibuoklė Martinaitytė and Algirdas Martinaitis (Lithuania), as well as a musician and inter-disciplinary artist Anton Lukoszevieze (United Kingdom), selected 12 compositions to be performed in the final round.

The final will also include compositions for string orchestra, mixed choir, and various chamber ensembles by young creators from Latvia, Austria, Italy, USA, China, Georgia, Lithuania, Spain, and Hungary. Adhering to the rule of absolute anonymity to keep it fair, the jury evaluates the compositions without knowing the composers’ names or nationalities – the true authors of the pieces will only be revealed upon announcing the final results.

“The scores submitted to the competition this year truly demonstrate a contemporary approach of young composers. Their music has qualities of powerful ideas which have been realised into the score smartly using compositional techniques to the levels of professionalism” after announcing the finalists noted jury member Ēriks Ešenvalds. Žibuoklė Martinaitytė also pointed out the high level of professionalism but also expressed some disappointment about the increasing stylistic uniformity: “We evaluated the compositions anonymously, without knowing the countries and nationalities of the composers. However, it seemed that most of them are from the same cultural realm with similar musical sensibilities.”

Anton Lukoszevieze, on the other hand, was sincerely impressed by the unique expression of each author and the diversity of the twelve compositions selected for the final. Therefore, it seems there will be plenty to choose from in the final of the competition.

The world premieres of the selected compositions will take place on the 18th of November in the final concert at the Palace of the Grand Dukes. The live broadcast on the internet via will provide an opportunity to watch the concert in other countries. In collaboration with the Lithuanian National Philharmonic, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, LMTA, and other partners, the best compositions of young authors will be performed by well-known contemporary music performers, including the Riga Chamber Choir “Ave Sol” (conductor Andris Veismanis), the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (conductor Robertas Šervenikas), the string quartet “Mettis,” the “FortVio” trio, and others. The winners of the competition can expect not only substantial monetary prizes but also high quality performances, recordings, and exposure. The International E. Balsys Young Composers’ Competition is funded by the Lithuanian Cultural Council.