Balkan Youth Jazz Orchestra – Open Call for Composers

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We are inviting composers, both young and established, from the Western Balkan region – Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as other Balkan countries to submit their works to be included in the repertoire of the newly formed Balkan Youth Jazz Orchestra program. Composers must be aged 18 or over at the time of application.

We ask composers to take following line-up into account when composing for the Balkan Youth Jazz Orchestra:

  • 1 flute
  • 2 alt saxophones
  • 1 tenor saxophone
  • 1 baritone saxophone
  • 3 trumpets
  • 1 horn
  • 2 trombones
  • 1 tuba
  • 1 piano
  • 1 guitar
  • 1 double bass
  • 1 drums
  • 1 percussion (bongos, conga, darbuka, cajon).

Additional options:

There is a possibility to include one more pianist on synthesizer, one more guitar player and two female vocals (1 soprano and 1 alto).

Smaller instruments such as various types of rattles, def, guiro, cowbell, woodblock, kokoriko, castanets, tambourine, cabasa, vibraslap, claves, bells, and other small objects are also offered in the percussion set.

How to apply:

Please complete the application form

Please enclose in the application form two scores of your earlier compositions written for a similar composition (Big Band, for example) in PDF and an audio recording of the same (studio, concert or electronic).

Your pieces should have been written within the last two years, so that they give a current picture of your compositional approach.

The deadline for applications is 4th of January 2021.


Based on works submitted we will select composers until 18 January 2021, and invite them to create new pieces for the Orchestra (or rearrange their scores composed already).

Selected composers should submit one or two new compositions by March 15 2021.

Applications will be reviewed by the experts from the partner institutions: Antonio Kitanovski, composer (professor at the Music Academy – Goce Delčev University, Štip, North Macedonia), Vladimir Nikolov, composer (professor at the Faculty of Music, University of Arts, Belgrade), mentors and conductors, and Maja Popović, music editor (Director, Jazz Art).

Originality and inventiveness will be especially valued.

Compositions which will be included in the repertoire of the Orchestra will be performed at the public concerts in Podgorica and Cetinje, Montenegro, the last week of April 2021, at the closure of the Jazz Appreciation Month in Montenegro event.

We welcome applications from musicians of all backgrounds. In particular, we would like to encourage applications from female composers, as they are generally not represented sufficiently in the jazz productions.

We also encourage and welcome all the young talented and interested musicians from the Western Balkans region and beyond to apply with their works for the Balkan Youth Jazz Orchestra repertoire.

The deadline for applications is 4th of January 2021.

For any questions related to the application process, please contact:


*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.