ISCM World Music Days 2019 in Estonia

The official Call for Works is now released for ISCM’s World Music Days 2019 in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia. The 2019 event will be held in collaboration with the Estonian Music Days’ 40th Anniversary, 2-10 May 2019.

Choral music is a particular strength of this festival (hence the multiple submission categories dedicated to it), as well as an interest in experiments between music and other artistic disciplines, including the intersections between music and architecture, theatre, audiovisual art, and literature. Also of note is the category for free improvisation, which may interest composer-performers active in this area.

Young composers are also encouraged to apply. Composers up to the age of 35 are eligible for the ISCM Young Composer’s Award, which includes a €5000 prize and a commission for a future ISCM event.

CANZ is the official NZ member (Section) of the ISCM, and will be selecting and submitting six works to the ISCM International Panel for consideration, from which at least one work will be selected for performance at the festival. We now invite members to submit works to CANZ for the initial selection. The deadline for submission to CANZ is Friday 14 September 2018. Please send all materials electronically to <>. Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged.

You must be a current member of CANZ to make a submission to our official NZ entry (if you wish to join CANZ, please see Preference will be given to works composed after 2013, and to composers who are yet to experience an ISCM WMD festival. The Official Submission from CANZ will aim to include six works fitting at least four of the 14 submission categories. It is essential that you ensure your entry matches the specifications for one of the categories, described below:

Category 1 Orchestral works
Category 2 String orchestra
Category 3 Wind ensemble with conductor
Category 4 Ensemble with conductor
Category 5 Chamber music 1-6 players (“Pierrot Plus Percussion” etc. and subsets) Category 6 Chamber music 1-5 players (ensembles involving the traditional Estonian kannel)
Category 7 String quartet
Category 8 1-2 instruments
Category 9 Mixed choir
Category 10 Male choir
Category 11 Female choir
Category 12 Electronic pieces & Installations
Category 13 Jazz ensemble
Category 14 Free improvisation

World Music Days 2019 is jointly present with the annual contemporary music festival Estonian Music Days, organized by Estonian Composers’ Union.
The event takes place from 2-10 May in Tallinn and Tartu.

More info:

Category 1 

Orchestral works
(Max: 4fl, 4ob, 3fag, 4cl, 4Hn, 4trpt, 4tbn, 1tb, 5perc, 1hp, Strings: 17, 14, 12, 10, 8)

For further reference please visit:

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

Soloists are possible, if the section covers the costs.

Category 2 

String orchestra

a) String orchestra 

55432 (players, not desks) 10′-15′
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra

b) String orchestra with mixed choir 

Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir 6666

Category 3 

Wind ensemble with conductor *
2 fl, 1 ob, 3 cl, 1 fag, 2 alt-sax, 1 ten-sax, 1 bar-sax, 3 Corni, 4 trbe, 3 trni, 2 euf, 2 tb, 1 Cb, 4 perc, guit.

The event takes place in open air. Traditional brass band genres such as marches etc are welcome.

Category 4 

Ensemble with conductor

a) Large ensemble 6-8 players and mezzo soprano with conductor 

with optional electronics
fl, cl, 2 perc, pf, vln, vla, vc and mezzo-sopr
up to 15′
Norrbotten NEO (Sweden)

b) Ensemble works with audiovisuals 

fl, cl, e-guitar, perc, vno, vla, vc, electronics up to 20′
Tallinn New Music Ensemble –

Category 5 

Chamber music 1-6 players

a) Ensemble with optional live electronics. Works will be staged in a theatrical context
Fl, Cl, Perc, Pf, Vno, Vc
up to 15′

By submitting to this category, the composers confirm to agree that their pieces will be performed in a theatrical context and setting.
All possible combinations of given instruments from solos to the full ensemble are welcome.

b) Ensemble 1-5 players with electronics 

Fl, Cl, Arpa, Pf, Vc
up to 15′
Defunensemble (Finland)

All possible combinations of given instruments from solos to the full ensemble are welcome.

c) Ensemble of 4 players ob, perc, vc, cb
up to 20′
Copeco All stars

All possible combinations of given instruments from solos to the full ensemble are welcome.

Category 6 

Chamber music 1-5 players

a) Ensemble of 4 players with vocal soloist. 

Concert will have literary addition (in the format of Poetry slam). Composers are encouraged to offer a poem or literary excerpt, which is to be read before or after the performance of the piece
Fl, Kannel, Vc, alto

up to 10′
Ensemble Resonabilis
All possible combinations of given instruments from solos to the full ensemble are welcome.

Pieces originally conceived for other instruments that are similar to the Kannel (e.g. kantele, kokle, kankles, harp, guitar, koto, gayageum, qin etc) are welcome. If it is not possible to perform the part written for that instrument on a kannel, then the composer who is proposing the piece is expected to rework the part so that it is playable on the kannel .

b) Ensemble of 1-3 players 

harp, kannel, harpsichord up to 15′
Ensemble Una Corda

All possible combinations of given instruments from solos to the full ensemble are welcome.

Scores featuring instruments similar to the kannel would also be considered if the part is playable on a kannel or could be adapted by the composer, as per Category 6a above.

Category 7 

String quartet
up to 10′
Ensemble Yxus

Category 8 

1-2 instruments

a) 2 pianos (solo or duo) + optional electronics (prerecorded material) 

Pieces up to 10′
Kadri-Ann Sumera / Talvi Hunt

b) 2 Double bases
Pieces up to 5’
Jaanus Siniväli / Kristin Kuldkepp

c) 2 percussionists (non pitched percussion instruments only)
Pieces up to 5’
Vambola Krigul / Madis Metsamart

d) 2 clarinetists (available instruments 2 Cl in B, 1 Cl in basso and 1 Cl in Es) Pieces up to 5’
Signe Sõmer / Helena Tuuling

e) Koto and Estonian chromatic Kannel (solo or duo)
Pieces up to 15’
Kristi Mühling / Naoko Kikuchi

Works originally scored for other instruments would also be considered if the composer is willing to adapt them so that they are playable as per Categories 6a and 6b above.

f) flute, soprano and electronics 

Pieces up to 15’
AFEKT Soloists: Monika Mattiesen
Sirje Aleksandra Viise, Tammo Sumera (electronics)

g) organ solo (with optional electronics)
Pieces up to 15’
Ulla Krigul

h) Violin and electronics (live electronics or Buchla) George Kentros / Mattias Petersson
Pieces up to 5’

Category 9 : Mixed choir 5′-15′

a) a cappella
b) with electronics (pre-recorded only)
c) with solo instrument (Fl, Cl, Perc, Vno, Vc and C-b are possible) and optional electronics.
Please choose one solo instrument from the list above.
d) with 1 tenor soloist 

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir 


A cappella, electronics, Solo instruments 

Vox clamantis 

4344 (2+2)

A cappella, electronics 

Latvian Radio Choir 


A cappella 

Collegium Musicale 


A cappella, Tenor Soloist 

Category 10 

Male choir
49 singers
up to 10′
a) a cappella
b) with 1-4 string instruments (2 Vno, Vla, Vc)
Estonian National Male Choir

Category 11 

Female choir
16, 12, 15, 9
up to 10′
a) a cappella
b) with early music instruments 


Hortus Musicus

1) discant and alto bombard (also recorders from soprano to bass)
2) recorders from sopranino to bass, dulcian, tenor bombard, rauschpfeiff 3) tenor and bass trombones
4) violin
5) g-violone (tuning from up c-g-d-a-e-b)
6) double bass
7) cembalo/organ
8) tenor voice, percussion*
9) baritone voice, percussion*
10) bass voice, percussion*

* renaissance drums, cymbals, tambourines etc.

Category 12 

Electronic pieces & Installations

Estonian Electronic Music Society ́s Ensemble 

live electronics (up to 6 players). Possible equipment: Max Msp, C-sound, DIY electronics, synthesizers (analog, digital, modular).

a) Electroacoustic pieces for tape (prerecorded MP3 file) only. 

up to 20′

b) Electroacoustic pieces for live electronics (up to 6 players. Max Msp, C-sound, DIY electronics)

c) Installations 

Sound installations of smaller size, which will be placed in the context of the concert venues

Category 13 

Jazz ensemble
up to 6-7 players, chosen from:
voice, saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, drums (additional instruments can be added). Different combinations are encouraged: 2 voices; 2 drums, etc.

The use of pre-recorded electronic sound is also welcome. Composers should submit stereo sound files along with their performance materials.
Priority given to works of 6′ or less. All combinations of saxophones is also suitable. It is possible to submit a piece that uses 2 drummers.

In collaboration with Estonian Jazz Union

Category 14 Free improvisation 

up to ca 15’-20’
Hosted by Improtest series

This category is open to composers-improvisers. It is possible to perform with the Improtest house band (1 keyboard player, 1 electric guitarist). The composers are requested to send some demo material.