The 3rd Annual European Bigband Composer Competition

Theme: Music to the words of Ursula Andkjær Olsen

A competition for bigbandcomposers.
Final concert in Valby Culturehouse June 20th 2016
1st price 800 Euro
2nd price 300 Euro

How to apply
Before February 25th; 
Apply for the competition by mailing us;
• your contact information (name, address, birthdate, mail address, telephone number)
• an exciting jazz arrangement or composition made by you (preferably a bigband arrangement) (as a pdf.) with a sound file (mp3, midi, wma etc.) or a link to a sound file.
Mail to:

The music
We will confirm your participation in the competition before February 26th . When we have confirmed your participation you can start writing for the orchestra. The music shall be new and never played before. We will send you specific guidelines to the score and parts layout.

Ursula Andkjær Olsen is a famous Danish writer. She has won lots of Danish literature prizes and was in 2009 nominated to the Nordic Council Literature Prize. Her poems and texts for this competition will be in Danish and in English. The words must stand as written by Ursula Andkjær Olsen, - no other text can be added. Words or lines can be repeated and/or parts can be left out.

Link to the text: 

• Duration 3-6 min. (including solos)
• Lineup (The music shall be written for all 21 musicians);
o 4 singers (1. soprano, 2. soprano, alto and tenor) (in 2 systems 1.sop/2.sop - alto/ten)
o 5 reeds
o Soprano, alto, flute, clarinet
o Soprano, alto, flute
o Tenor, clarinet, basclarinet
o Tenor, clarinet
o Baryton, bassclarinet.
o 4 trumpets (w. flugelhorns and mutes)
o 4 trombones (w. mutes)
o Vibraphone
o Doublebass, Guitar, Piano, Drums

Link to Score sample;

The competition
Before May 1st;
Send your music to as a pdf. with a computersound file (mp3, midi, wma etc.) or a link to a sound file. The pdf. and the soundfile must not contain your name. The mails will be handled by an independent secretary. A board of judges will select the 4 finalists, and all participants will receive a mail on May 10th if they will or will not participate in the final concert.

The band will rehearse the music on the June 18th from 1.00 pm to 6.00 pm and June 19th from 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm. The final Concert is on the 20st of June in Valby Culturehouse at 8.00 pm.

We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you. 

Conducted by Mads Pagsberg

Special information for the finalists
- Before May 15th the finalists shall send all parts and soundfile to , + a special vocalgroup soundfile containing the vocals and rhythm.
- The finalists will participate in rehearsals on 18th and 19th of June.
- The finalists’ compositions will be rehearsed and directed by The BigBands conductor Mads Pagsberg.
- The finalists will pay for their own transportation to Copenhagen.
- The BigBand will pay for the finalists' hotel accommodation from June 18th up to and including June 20st, and also the catering during rehearsals.
- The BigBand will provide transportation to and from the accomodation/rehearsals/the final concert.
- All other expenses are incurred by the finalists.
- The BigBand reserves the right to use the finalists’ compositions after the final concert without additional consideration.

The BigBand and The Vocals and this competition is supported and sponsored by:
Københavns Kommune
Amager Lokaludvalg
Valby Lokaludvalg
Kgs. Enghave Lokaludvalg
Østerbro Lokaludvalg
Sv. Muchelsen Chokolade
Matrix Sales

About winner of the 1st Bigband Composer Competition
Alex Cassanyes Born in Capellades (Barcelona). He studied music composition at Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya with Arnau Bataller, Manel Camp, Albert Guinovart and Lluís Vergés. Alex has after his success in our competition won 1st Prize "Concurso de composición y arreglos para Big Band" XXXV Festival Internacional de Jazz de Granada. ES (2014) and 1st Prize "XXVII Concorso Internazionale de Composizione per Orchestra Jazz" Barga Jazz Festival. IT (2014).

Listen to his winning competition “After The Dawn”;

Judge Cim Meyer of Jazz Special:
"Having glanced at the score and listened to the transmitted audio file, it was found that this piece of music was apparently quite complex and with a fine finish. The time signatures alternates between three, four and five quarters and there are even individual prisoners rates for two quarters - perhaps to get an equation to go up? Small Groups can practice playing tight in alternating or odd time signatures. But this must be performed by a big band ... with vocal group! And with limited probation. Would it go well for the concert? That I didt! The many ambitious step change was surprisingly good in this powerful event. This shows an orchestra of the format, but especially this signals an arranger and composer who can write music that, despite rate changes and other seemingly difficult things comes naturally to play. Vocal Group was equally integrated and instrumented. In general, there was stuff in After the Dawn. There was determination and drama in this piece of music. As a listener you got a sense of a history of progress. "

About winner of the 2nd Bigband Composer Competition
Gábor Subicz from Hungary was born in 1983 as son of two local fine artists in Debrecen, Hungary. He started to study music early on trumpet, guitar and piano. He graduated as a jazz-trumpet artist at the Jazz Faculty of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in 2008. He writes and arranges music constantly since 2002, with a wide wariety of orchestrations from string quintet to jazz bigband or symphony orchestra. He is a founding member, trumpet soloist, composer and arranger of Modern Art Orchestra, Hungary’s no.1 contemporary jazz bigband led by Kornél Fekete-Kovács. He won the 3rd price in 2014, and the 1st prize in 2012 at the hungarian jazz federation’s national bigband composing competition, he also won the 1st prize for best arrangement in 2012. He’s main composing influences are Gil Evans, Stravinsky, the Doors, and late 90’s electronic underground music.

Listen to his winning competition “One BigBand Piece”:

"Contrary to the other candidates this arranger and composer didn’t “reduce” an orchestral work but successfully unfolds Nielsen’s piano pieces to a larger work. The arrangement looks complicated and difficult when looking at the score (lots of changes of meter), but the piece sounds easy when played. The listener doesn’t have to worry about the many shifts in rhythm and time signatures. Everything evolves smoothly. One Big Band Piece has the best integration of the vocal group of the four compositions. The positive vibe of the lyrics can be heard in the music. The vocal group is part of the band on equal terms as an extra section. The piece integrates Carl Nielsen, the sound of jazz and improvisation to the benefit of all."

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