The composing contest got 76 participants from 24 countries


The judges are Nikki Iles, Eero Koivistoinen and Ed Partyka 

The Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest, organized every other year by UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and the Finnish Big Band Association, received a record number of compositions again this year. 

This time, all European or Europe-based composers without age limit were able to participate in the competition. By the deadline in the beginning of May, 76 participants from 24 European countries entered the competition. 58 of the competitors are from outside Finland. The age range of composers is wide; the youngest participant is 17 and the oldest 74. 

The finalists will be announced after two anonymous pre-qualification rounds on Friday August 25, 2023. A maximum of 10 compositions will be performed live by UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra in the final concert at Malmitalo, Helsinki, on Thursday October 5, 2023, conducted by Antti Rissanen. Tickets for the final concert are already for sale at

The jury of the competition includes the artistic director and chief conductor Ed Partyka (head of jury), British pianist, composer and conductor Nikki Iles, Finnish saxophonist, and composer, conductor Eero Koivistoinen. (Edited 29.5.: Jim McNeely will not after all be a jury member)  

Link to the competition rules

Information about the final concert

The finalists are announced on August 30, see the list here!

Photo: Valtteri Pokela. The photo is not related to this year’s contest.

5.10.2023 Tobias Hoffmann from Germany won the Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest 2023   Read more ->
30.8.2023 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  Read more ->
24.8.2023 The finalists of the Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest 2023 will be published on August 30, contrary to prior information Read more ->