The Composition Contest, held in honour of the Polytech Choir’s 100th anniversary, drew wide international attention. The purpose of the contest was to encourage young composers to create new music for male choirs. Over 40 composers from 19 countries participated in the contest. Awards were given to Heather Schmidt (b. 1974), from Canada, for her piece ”Man, Homme, Mensch” and Finnish composers Sebastian Fagerlund (b. 1972) for his piece ”Sinnlighetens fest” and Sami Klemola (b. 1973) for his piece ”Kalju Mies”. Each composer received an award of 2000 euros. The awarded pieces will be premiered at the Polytech Choir’s 100th anniversary concert on May 22nd, 2004. Furthermore, a work by Uljas Pulkkis (b. 1975) ”Three Women for Male Choir (and three players)” was commissioned for later performance.
Composer Tapani Länsiö presided over the jury, the members of which were Choral Director Matti Hyökki, General Director of the Finnish National Opera Erkki Korhonen and Music Editor Minna Lindgren. The main sponsor of the competition was the Wärtsilä Corporation, and it was arranged by the Polytech Choir Patrons’ Association.
The jury describes the pieces thus: Schmidt’s ”Man, Homme, Mensch” is a lively and rhythmic piece written specifically for a male choir, in a manner that is purposefully challenging. The text is both instrumental and pregnant and toys with the idea of man. Fagerlund’s ”Sinnlighetens fest” is a piece, composed to a splendid poem by Claes Andersson, that tests well the limits of a male choir but does not exceed them. Klemola’s ”Kalju mies” is a powerful, funny, and fresh piece set to Tomi Kontio’s multidimensional poem to which the drum section adds beat and colour. The piece is exceptionally challenging and thus fascinating.
The Polytech Choir and Tapani Länsiö have during the past decades commissioned and premiered over 30 new works, the majority of which have been recorded. Polytech Choir Patrons’ association has published much of Polytech Choir’s music as scores and records. The main sponsors of the Polytech Choir Centennial are ABB and Wärtsilä.
Further information on the contest:
Contest Office / Mikko Kontiainen
Tel: +358 40 5511001
The original press release: [PDF]
See also photos of the winners of the contest.