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The finalists of Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest 2023 are announced, the final concert in Helsinki and a live stream on Thursday, October 5th

The finalists of the Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest have been selected. This year’s competition was limited to European or Europe-based composers with no age limit. 76 participants from 24 countries entered the competition. The age range of composers was wide; the youngest participant is 17 and the oldest 74.

The composers and compositions which made it to the finals after two anonymous pre-qualification rounds are (in alphabetical order):

Charlie Bates (UK): The Good Things 

Marco Battigelli (Italy): In Springtime 

Marc Doffey (Germany): Slow Song 

Teemu Halmkrona (Finland): Fleeting Memories 

Tobias Hoffmann (Germany/Austria): Bouyancy 

Gergö Kormányos (Hungary): Curiouser And Curiouser 

Markus Neuwirth (Austria): Theme for an Anime (That Doesn’t Exist) 

Andy Schofield (UK/Czech Republic): Hear My Voice 

Rahel Talts (Estonia/Denmark): One Step Forward 

Filip Wiśniewski (Germany): Bacon And Death 

– The level of compositional technique as well as creativity demonstrated by the composers of the HIBBCC 2023 is most impressive. The high number of excellent compositions made the selection process challenging for the members of the jury, but I feel we have chosen extraordinary pieces for the final round. I would like to thank the members of the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra for their hard work recording this demanding and sometimes extremely complicated repertoire for the jury, the orchestra really makes this music come alive. I very much look forward to hearing these new masterpieces of jazz composition live at the final concert on October 5th, says Ed Partyka, the head of jury. 

The UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra will play the selected compositions in the final concert with conductor Antti Rissanen at Malmitalo, Helsinki, on Thursday October 5, 2023, at 6 pm (UTC+2). The final concert will be streamed and can be watched for free at UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra’s mobile app and website or at YouTube channel, live or later on-demand. 

The first prize is 3000, second prize 2000 and third prize 1000 euros. The jury has the right to divide the prizes in another way, as well as award special prizes.

The jury of the competition includes the artistic director and chief conductor Ed Partyka (head of jury), British pianist, composer and conductor Nikki Iles and Finnish saxophonist, composer and conductor Eero Koivistoinen. The concert is hosted in English and Finnish by Henriika Steidel-Luoto

The contest is organized and produced by the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and the Finnish Big Band Association.

Final concert: Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest 2023 

Conductor Antti Rissanen 

Thu 5.10.2023 at 6 pm (UTC+2) // Malmitalo, Helsinki 

Free livestream at UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra’s mobile app and website and at YouTube channel. Duration about 2,5–3 hours.

Link to the competition rules

Information about the final concert