Estonian Music Days &
ISCM jointly present
Music Days

Through the Forest of Songs
Tallinn / Tartu

Being a country known for its active contemporary music scene and compact infrastructure, Estonia with its capital Tallinn is honoured to organize the prestigious annual contemporary music festival initated by the International Society for Contemporary Music.

The festival hosts hundreds of professional musicians and presents the freshest and most exciting new music in 2019, including music performed by groups of different sizes and nature, soloists presenting different instruments, as well as sounds from different acoustical and electronic sources.

We consider important to include projects of interdisciplinary nature in the programme, such as contemporary art, dance, theatre, visual disciplines.

Venues vary from black boxes to concert halls with capacity of 200–900, including also art galleries and museums, public spaces and places for site specific art.

Being a small scale country with vibrant culture life, Estonia is a perfect place to visit.

European Regional Development Fund supports ISCM World Music Days 2019 international marketing activities introducing Estonia as an attractive tourism destination of culture with 65 000 euros during 2018-2019.

ISCM WMD is supported by: Estonian Ministry of Culture / Cultural Endowment of Estonia / Estonian Authors' Society / City of Tartu / EAS - Enterprise of Estonia

Call for works

Submissions closed

ISCM WMD in Estonia aims to introduce contemporary music and the extremely forms of its manifestation. The festival mainly focuses on choral music in its various expressions of genre and style. On the other hand, the festival concentrates on experiments between music and other artistic disciplines, including the intersections between music and architecture, theatre, audiovisual art, and literature. Therefore, we are inviting composers and sections to propose musical works dealing with the abovementioned themes while reflecting contemporary music in as rich and extensive spectrum as possible.

We would like to encourage young composers to apply, because of the ISCM Young Composer’s Award, supported by Music on Main, which in 2019 will award 5000€ to a composer aged 35 or younger whose work is performed at the festival. The 5000€ prize includes a commission for a new piece that will be performed during a future edition of the ISCM World Music Days.

1: Estonian NSO

(Max 3fl, 3ob, 3fg, 3cl, 4hn, 3trp, 3tbn, 1tb, 5 perc, 1hp, Strings: 14, 12, 10, 8, 6)
For further reference please see here

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

Soloists are possible, if section covers the costs.

Category 2: String orchestra

2a: String orchestra

55432 (players, not stands)

Tallinn Chamber Orchestra

2b: String orchestra with mixed choir

Category 3: Wind ensemble with conductor

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.

Estonian Police and Border Guard Orchestra

Category 4: Ensemble with conductor

4a: 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)

4b: 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

5a: 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.

5b: 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.

5c: 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

6a: 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 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.

6b: 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

7: Ensemble Yxus

up to 10'

Ensemble Yxus

Category 8: 1–2 instruments

8a: 2 pianos + optional electronics

2 pianos (solo or duo) + optional electronics (prerecorded material)
Pieces up to 10'

Kadri-Ann Sumera / Talvi Hunt

8b: 2 Double bases

Pieces up to 5'

Jaanus Siniväli / Kristin Kuldkepp

8c: 2 percussionists

(non pitched percussion instruments only)
Pieces up to 5'

Vambola Krigul / Madis Metsamart

8d: 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

8e: Koto and Estonian chromatic Kantele

(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.

8f: Flute, soprano and electronics

Pieces up to 15'

Festival AFEKT soloists

Sirje Aleksandra Viise
(sopran, sound objects)

Monika Mattiesen Flutes
(piccolo, flute, alto, bass and sound objects)

Tammo Sumera

8g: organ solo

(with optional electronics)
Pieces up to 15'

Ulla Krigul

8h: Violin and electronics

(live electronics or Buchla)
Pieces up to 5'

George Kentros / Mattias Petersson

Category 9: Mixed choir

9b: with electronics

(electronics pre-recorded only)

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Vox clamantis
4344 (2+2)

9c: with solo instrument

(Fl, Cl, Perc, Vno, Vc and C-b are possible) and optional electronics

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

9d: with 1 tenor soloist


Collegium Musicale

Category 10: Male choir

10a: a cappella

49 singers
up to 10'

Estonian National Male Choir

10b: with 1–4 string instruments

(2 Vno, Vla, Vc)
49 singers
up to 10'

Estonian National Male Choir

Category 11: Female choir

11a: a cappella

16, 12, 15, 9
up to 10'


11b: with early music instruments

16, 12, 15, 9
up to 10'

Ellerhein and
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

12a: Electroacoustic pieces for tape only

(prerecorded file)
up to 20'

12b: Electroacoustic pieces for live electronics

(up to 6 players. Max Msp, C-sound, DIY electronics)

Estonian Electronic Music Society´s Ensemble
live electronics (up to 6 players). Possible equipment: Max Msp, C-sound, DIY electronics, synthesizers (analog, digital, modular).

12c: Installations

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

Category 13: Jazz ensemble

13: 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.

In collaboration with Estonian Jazz Union

Category 14: Free improvisation

14: composers-improvisers

up to ca 15'–20'

This category is open to composers-improvisers. It is possible to perform with the Improtest house band (1 keyboard player, 1 electric guitarist).

Taavi Kerikmäe (live electronics, keyboards)
Mart Soo (live electronics, guitar).

The composers are requested to send some demo material and technical rider.

Hosted by Improtest series

ISCM WMD is supported by: Estonian Ministry of Culture / Cultural Endowment of Estonia / Estonian Authors' Society / City of Tartu / EAS - Enterprise of Estonia

Call for works submissions are now closed

Selected works will be announced in December 2018.
Please follow our webpage for further updates!

According to the “Rules of Procedure for the Organisation of the ISCM World Music Days Festival”, submissions should be either official (by ISCM Members) or individual. Only one work per composer may be submitted for a given ISCM-WMD Festival, whether through official or individual submissions.

For more information, see the ISCM’s “Rules of Procedure for the Organization of the ISCM World Music Days Festival” at Submissions by composers whose work was performed in the ISCM World Music Days 2018 in Beijing, China will not be considered.

Extended deadline for submissions is September 30, 2018 12 PM GMT.

Official submission

An official submission by a Section or Full Associate Member will enjoy the exclusive right to the guaranteed performance of at least one submitted work at the ISCM-WMD Festival, providing the submission fulfils the following conditions:

  • The official submission should consist of exactly six works (as specified in the “Rules of Procedure for Membership Categories”); In order to guarantee that a work submitted by a section or full associate member is chosen, the section/FHM MUST submit six works in at least four different categories.
  • Preference will be given to shorter compositions, and to pieces composed after 2008.

For more information how to submit via official submissions, please contact your local ISCM section representative.

Individual submission

An individual submission is submitted by an independent composer or a composer’s authorized representative. Only one work per composer may be submitted. Individual submissions are not guaranteed a performance. Space for individual submissions is limited, but we will consider all submissions to the best of our ability. Preference will be given to shorter compositions, and to pieces composed after 2008.

You can submit your work individually by filling out the form by clicking here and sending additional materials to (In case you don't have access to Google services, please download the form by clicking here.)

After filling out the form, please submit to the following materials:

  1. The score (PDF document preferred), or audio/video documentation if the work does not have a written score.
  2. An audio or video recording of the work (if possible).
  3. Technical rider which specifies all equipment that is necessary to perform the work.
  4. Proof of nationality of the composer (copy of passport or identity card).
  5. High-resolution digital photograph of the composer
  6. Proof of payment of the submission fee (50 EUR)
  7. Biography and programme note for the submitted work if you did not enter this information to the Google form. (max 100 words)

An entry fee of 50 euros applies to individual submissions. It should be paid by one of the following ways:

  • PayPal on the ISCM website (bottom of the page)
  • Bank transfer to the account of the ISCM (by mentioning “individual submission ISCM 2019”, and your name): ISCM-International Society for Contemporary Music, ABN-AMRO Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. IBAN: NL36ABNA0552532088, BIC: ABNANL2A

For more information how to submit via individual submissions, please contact

Artistic Directors

Timo Steiner
Märt-Matis Lill


Mari-Liis Rebane


Concert Production Managers

Janeli Puusaag

Elo-Liis Parmas


Krõõt Mõttus

Marketing & Partners

Maret Mikk


Maria Mölder

Call for Works Coordinators

Mariliis Valkonen
Agnes Toomla

General info

ISCM WMD is supported by: Estonian Ministry of Culture / Cultural Endowment of Estonia / Estonian Authors' Society / City of Tartu / EAS - Enterprise of Estonia

Visit Estonia

Go Hotel Shnelli

Our partner Go Hotel Shnelli in Tallinn City Center has a special deal to offer – use the password WorldNewMusic!

For availability and price please contact hotel reservation center directly.
(+372) 6310 102

One of the most important accomplishments of Estonian Composers’ Union, Estonian Music Days, the name card for Estonian contemporary music, has been held now for decades and kept complete sovereignty. This festival has been and still is one of the main arenas and seedbeds for the new streams of Estonian music, where composers can experiment and take risks without fear of failure and the audience is encouraged to grasp both the mindblowing and unexpected and the more traditional ones that establish cultural continuity. This relation – and perhaps tension in a positive sense – between traditions and innovation is definitely a crucial axis and characteristic of the festival.

In 2019, Estonian Music Days will celebrate its 40th anniversary. On this occasion, we will alongside celebrate the ISCM World Music Days. Since its founding in 1922, the International Society for Contemporary Music has been the world’s premier network for new music. Each year, its festival is hosted in a different city around the globe. Vancouver hosted the ISCM World New Music Days in 2017 whereas in 2018, the festival took place in Beijing, and Tallinn will be succeeded by Auckland, New Zealand in 2020. According to the concept of the festival, there will be at least one piece on the programme from every member country of the society and in addition an abundance of Estonian music – both new commissions and highlights of the heritage. For Estonian music collectives, this festival provides an opportunity to perform for extremely erudite international audience at their home base and to get acquainted with the new music of less familiar areas. We also expect visiting collectives from neighbouring countries – Finland, Sweden and Latvia.

Estonian Music Days will thereby obtain an unprecedented international scale and both Estonian music and its listeners get a chance to relate to all kinds of musical ways of thinking and aesthetics of sound.

I look forward to meeting you in Estonia at our grand celebration in 2019!

Märt-Matis Lill

Chairman of Estonian Composers’ Union
Artistic Co-Director of Estonian Music Days & ISCM World Music Days 2019

ISCM WMD is supported by: Estonian Ministry of Culture / Cultural Endowment of Estonia / Estonian Authors' Society / City of Tartu / EAS - Enterprise of Estonia