New contemporary music festival Baltic Music Days launches in 2021

This spring, Estonian Music Days will host the first Baltic Music Days in Tallinn and Tartu (22.04. – 02.05.2021). The festival dedicated to Baltic contemporary music has been initiated by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Composers' Unions. An umbrella organisation the Baltic Contemporary Music Network was established in 2019 with the aim of jointly developing the international visibility of outstanding Baltic musicians and composers. The network's objective is to provide support to the scene, strengthen international relations, build new connections, generate collaborations and increase performance opportunities abroad focusing essentially on the neighbouring countries.

One of the main activities of the Baltic Contemporary Music Network is organising the Baltic Music Days festival with an ambition of reaching a wider foreign audience and bringing additional competent concertgoers. Activated communication will also give new insights and provide a better overview and understanding of the current contemporary music scene in the neighbouring countries.

Mykolas Natalevičius, the chairman of the Lithuanian Composers' Union, remarked “it’s great that our common goal to connect Baltic contemporary music institutions is thriving during these difficult times. Despite the uncertainty and various issues, our dedicated activities from the past two years are finally starting to become a reality. Considering how small our countries are in size and population, we are big in culture and in the contemporary world. It is very important to focus and collaborate because the scene is already overloaded with various information and cultural activities. I believe that our first Baltic Music Days festival will be an intriguing experience showing the richness, variety and authenticity of contemporary music coming from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”

The Baltic Music Days approaching this spring will be the first festival to take place within the new music network. The festival will start rotating between the Baltic states and will take place in a different country and its various cities each year. Next year the Baltic Music Days will be held in Kaunas, Lithuania followed by Riga, Latvia in 2023, and then return back to Estonia again in 2024.

This year's opening concert will be held in Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia. In addition to local performers, the program will include musicians from Latvia and Lithuania. Every piece in the concert programme is composed exclusively by the Baltic contemporary music composers. The concert programme will also be available via streaming platform online.

Each year the compositions and concerts revolve around a central festival theme.The focus of 2021 is "DNA" which seeks a dialogue between science, biological genetics, musical thinking and cultural origins.

Baltic Music Days 2021 performers list:
Synaesthesis (Lithuania), Riga Sinfonietta String Quartet (Latvia), Quadra Piano Quartet (Latvia), Twenty Fingers Duo (Lithuania), Maria Faust, Ensemble of Estonian Electronic Music Society, Kadri-Ann Sumera & Talvi Hunt, Ensemble for New Music Tallinn, YXUS & Iris Oja, EMTA Sinfonietta, Trio Hetk, Ensemble U :, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.


Photo: Synaesthesis (Lithuania) Author/source: press materials