The LHV New Composition Award Au-tasu 2024 Laureate Is Madli Marje Gildemann

Photo: Rene Jakobson

The LHV New Composition Award Au-tasu 2024 was bestowed upon Madli Marje Gildemann for her composition Nocturnal Migrants (2023). The prestigious award ceremony unfolded on April 28 within the grandeur of the Vanemuise Concert Hall in Tartu, during the Baltic & Estonian Music Days Umwelt festival.

Gildemann’s composition, “Nocturnal Migrants,” draws inspiration from the mesmerizing sight of birds drawn to the light of a lighthouse during the night. “Birds utilize celestial cues for navigation, akin to ancient mariners navigating by the stars. Flocks of birds seem to head towards starlight, only to find themselves trapped in a dazzling spectacle, expending vital energy and emitting cries of despair. This underscores the conflict between the instinctual need for safety and guidance and the fatal allure, which can also be interpreted as a metaphor for human impulsivity and compulsive behavior,” the composer explained her work.

Liisa Hirsch’s work “Earth Veins” for pipe orchestra also received special recognition.

The chairman of the jury, Märt-Matis Lill, emphasized that this year’s selection of compositions was exceptionally rich, diverse, and artistically profound. The winning piece caught attention with its potent poetic vision and captivating sonic landscape, displaying an inherent international appeal and the promise of future performances.

Since 2016, LHV and Estonian Music Days have jointly bestowed recognition upon outstanding Estonian composers deserving international acclaim. The laureate will be awarded a prize of 6,000 euros along with a trophy crafted by glass artist Mare Saare.

Individuals, groups, and organizations nominated candidates for the award. A total of 42 compositions from 33 composers were submitted for consideration this year. The esteemed jury comprised Märt-Matis Lill (Estonian Composers Union), Talvi Hunt (pianist), Johanna Mängel (Klassikaraadio), Lodewijk van der Ree (conductor), and Ülo Krigul (composer and last year’s laureate). Past recipients of the award include composers such as Liisa Hirsch, Toivo Tulev, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Helena Tulve, Märt-Matis Lill, Rasmus Puur, Jüri Reinvere, and Ülo Krigul. Further details about the winning compositions can be found on the website of the Estonian Composers’ Association.

Estonian Music Days will last until May 5.  The concerts can be partially watched online via EMP TV on the festival’s website and Klassikaradio. The Baltic and Estonian Music Days are part of the main program of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024.

The organizer of the LHV’s New Composition Award Au-tasu is the Estonian Composers’ Union. The competition partners are Estonian Music Information Center, Klassikaraadio and Estonian Public Broadcasting. The prize fund is supported by LHV.