Baltic Music Days
Estonian Music Days

Online festival
22.04–02.05.2021

Baltic Music Days

Developing a contemporary music network within the Baltics is our common wish, therefore, the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian Composers’ Union are joining forces to tighten our musical ties. 

Estonian Music Days, a festival with 42 years of history, will bring together the first edition of Baltic Music Days 2021 which this year takes place online and is free for all! 

Every year the Estonian Music Days festival has a theme permeating its concerts. The focus of the 2021 festival is “DNA”, which seeks a dialogue between our biological genetics, cultural origins, musical thinking, and science.

The following festivals are planned in Kaunas (2022), in Riga (2023), and again in Estonia, Tartu (2024).

Festival theme “DNA”

Behind our desire to know who we are and where we come from is the inner need to be connected to the essential network of life. DNA is the carrier of the essential information.

DNA genetic testing is becoming more and more popular. It is a gradually emerging (mis)understanding that rises from the analysis that can radically change our perception of origin.

However, the genetic DNA does not express our cultural DNA, the experience of living.

What is our cultural DNA? Our musical DNA? In our work, how much do we dare to go back to our honest inner expression no matter how strange and inappropriate it may be? How much do we try to respond to certain trends that meet the expectations of a narrow circle? A wider circle?

What are the functions of music and creation today that gives an environment and a sounding box to our musical DNA? What reflects it and gives it a right to exist?

The genetic DNA of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians are very similar, but, we are also different in our cultures. The music meetup in our Baltic peers allows us to observe what unites us and what distinguishes us.

DNA-themed children’s compositions

DNA-themed children’s compositions at the Estonian Music Days

This year, the composers of the Estonian Music Days have an additional DNA-themed challenge: to express their musical DNA in compositions for children. Thus, most of the Festival’s composers got to write two pieces, one for big ears and the other for small ears – they will be premiered by adults but in the future, they are meant to be performed by children. As for the audience, it is not even necessary to specify it, since what is created for children often transcends the limits of age. However, listening to two pieces by the same composer might provide a deeper insight into the composer’s secret musical codes. And the children who are going to play these compositions will most certainly be inspired to become the next link in the DNA chain of new Estonian music.

Festival is supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture / Cultural Endowment of Estonia / Estonian Authors’ Society / Estonian National Culture Foundation / LHV bank / City of Tallinn / City of Tartu

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