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Mazsalaca 2010

By 08.01.2010

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5th international workshop for young composers Mazsalaca, 8th-16th of August, 2010

The international meeting of young composers is a tradition which goes back to 2002 and was started by the composer Andris Dzenîtis and his companions. For the three first times the workshop took place in the Castle of Dundaga, which is connected to many legends, but now, for the second time already, it is being organized in Mazsalaca – a small town in the north of Latvia, next to the snaky river Salaca.

The workshop is deliberately not being organized in cities – this is a possibility for technologically oversaturated and instantaneous demand-oriented people to feel themselves and to reconsider their spiritual values by being in simple or one could even say primitive conditions, by experiencing a modest and slow way of living. At the same time this one week is being dedicated to intense discussions, training, composing, presentations, individual training with lecturers, making new acquaintances, and enjoying the serene life.

The first four international workshops have gained a certain reputation both regionally and internationally and have gathered more than 50 participants from different corners of the world, 13 lecturers – internationally known composers from 7 countries.


Chamber music nowadays. Classics, innovation, aesthetics, boundaries.



In order to participate in the workshop the candidates have to prepare mp3 audio recordings (advisable length – 5 to 10 minutes) of two or three previously composed chamber music pieces (for two or more instruments), which, together with scores in digital format (pdf), a detailed CV and a photo, must be sent by e-mail to the workshop organizers until the 15th of February, 2010.


The examining commission, which is composed of lecturers and participants of ensemble Aleph, will evaluate the submitted materials and will choose 10 active workshop participants. The results will be published by the 15th of May, 2010.

According to the commissions’ decision five of the chosen participants will be asked to compose for the ensemble Aleph, the other five for the string quartet ReDo. These pieces will be performed in the gala concert.

The chosen participants will have to conclude and send the compositions to Aleph and ReDo no later than the 5th of July, 2010.

The pieces must be conceptually finished by then. The workshop will be devoted to working together with lecturers and musicians in order to sharpen up the details and introduce realistic modifications.

The internationally determined age limit is 35 years. However, the organizers prefer not to object if this limit is exceeded.

There are also 10 places intended for observers. In this case there is no need to participate in the competition to be able to join the workshop. The service will be equal and it will be possible to attend the group work sessions, however the observer’s compositions will not be performed as well as the active participants will always be prior when it comes to individual training.



„There is no name yet for this kind of music," wrote Mark Swed, the music critic of Los Angeles Times. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Lang’s numerous honors and awards include the Rome Prize and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation. His music is played by the world’s most recognized orchestras and ensembles – the New York Philharmonic, the Kronos Quartet, Trio Mediaeval – and has been performed in all of the greatest contemporary music festivals and concert halls all over the world. David Lang is also known as a member of the famous composers’ group Bang on a Can (together with Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe).

Minimalism, rock conceptualism and totalitarianism trends can be found in his music. It is often referred to as postminimalistic; it is powerful and has a lot of vital energy.


Pär Lindgren is one of the most known representatives of contemporary music from Sweden. Initially he dedicated himself to electronic music but in the course of time turned more and more to instrumental music. As early as in 1980 he worked as a lecturer at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, but in 1998 he became professor there. The language of Lindgren’s music is very individual, recognizable, his composing techniques are of great virtuosity and every piece comes forward with new ideas and technological principles. Lindgren’s music has different sources of inspiration that can also be found in his compositions. These are art – from visual geometry and precision to abstraction, ethnical music – African rhythms, melodic lines from Arab music, and nature – abstract influence of environment. In 1996, Lingren’s composition Oaijé was chosen as the selected work at UNESCO’sInternational Rostrum of Composers.


Richard is a British composer who lives in the Netherlands. After having participated in the masterclasses of Morton Feldman in Darmstadt and in Dartingtone Summer School he decided to become a composer and today is one of the most renowned composers in the Netherlands. He has studied with Louis Andriessen and since 2004 Ayres works as a composition teacher at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He has cooperated with ASKO, the Schoenberg Ensemble, The Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Klangforum Wien, MusikFabrik and other internationally renowned ensembles. In 1999, Richard Ayres's No. 31 for trumpet and ensemble was chosen as the selected work at UNESCO’sInternational Rostrum of Composers. The composer has also received the most prestigious composition prize in The Netherlands – the Vermeulen prize.


Ensemble Aleph was born in 1983 and since then works very intensively and actively. It is one of the most renowned contemporary music ensembles of France. Ensemble’s priorities have always been looking for new possibilities, putting into practice of new contemporary music expressions, and correlation of text, movement, light with music. Aleph can modify its musicians’ composition. This workshop will be attended by Aleph’s principal musicians playing the flute, the clarinet, the piano, the violin, the violoncello, and the percussions. During its existence Aleph has given first performances of more than 150 compositions and has often made concert cycles dedicated to the classics and novelties of the 20th century. Aleph often performs pieces by Beriot, Bulez, Cage, Grizey, Kagel, Kurtag, Lachenmann, Scelsi, Xenakis, Zimmermann and does not forget the contemporary music and such composers as Fred Frith, José Manuel Lopez-Lopez, Robert Pascal, Horacio Vaggione as well as others.

Aleph is a musical theatre including masks, tricks and brilliance, shadows and decorations.


ReDo quartet’s origins lie in 2006 when it was the instructional quartet at Jâzeps Vîtols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA). During 2007/2008 the quartet’s musicians made great success. In 2008, as a sextet they were awarded the 1st prize „Best student Chamber Ensemble” in JVLMA students' competition and also received the prize „Most artistic chamber ensemble” from students’ council. After this competition they made a record in Latvian Radio 1 studio. The quartet has participated in masterclasses with S. Azizian (Riga, 2008) and with violinist from ARTIS string quartet J. Maissl (Vilnius, 2008). The quartet has also taken part in several interesting projects including jazz projects.


During the nine days of the workshop every participant will attend private consultations with all lecturers, as well as present his/her music, take part in rehearsals, seminars and discussions. Each lecturer will read two lectures on current issues of contemporary music. The theme of the workshop is only the axis around which different discourses concentrate. The official theme is not obligatory, and participants are given maximal creative freedom. During the workshop all conditions for creative, individual work will be provided.


Two concerts will take place during the workshop and both of the residing ensembles – Ensemble Aleph and string quartet ReDo – will perform compositions chosen by participants, by lecturers and music chosen by themselves. Every evening there will be an informal invitation for everyone to enjoy participants’ presentations.



For active participants

From Latvia – 150Eur

From Estonia, Lithuania – 200Eur

From other countries – 300Eur

For observers – (number of places is limited. Please, apply for this option duly)

From Latvia – 200Eur

From Estonia, Lithuania – 250Eur

From other countries – 350Eur

The participation fee covers expenses of accommodation, catering, transport (Riga – Mazsalaca – Riga) and lecturers’ work. All the participants will be settled in hostel-type apartments with partial accommodations, meals will be provided three times per day, coffee, tee and water will be provided all day long. International travel expenses as well as insurance are not included in the participation fee.



More detailed information about the workshop upon request:



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