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2019 European Composer finalists announced

A Belgian and two English writers will have their works performed in the final of the seventh European Composer Competition in Montreux in April.

  The competition will be part of the 2019 European Brass Band Championships in Montreux

The Music Commission of the European Brass Band Association (EBBA) has announced the identity of the three composers and their works that will receive premiere performances in the final of the 2019 European Composer Competition in Switzerland.

The 7th edition of the event will be held at the Casino Barriere in Montreux on Thursday 25th April as part of the European Brass Band Championships.

The trio of works are 'Bipolarity' by Belgian composer by Stijn Aertgeerts; 'A Dialogue of Transmogrified Souls' by English composer Daniel Hall (England), and 'Ironbright' also by English composer Paul Saggers.

Exceptional year

On announcing the finalists EBBA Music Commission Chairman, Paul Hindmarsh commented: "It was an exceptional year. All ten compositions, which we judged anonymously, had much to commend for their imagination, craft and handling of the brass band medium."

He added: "My colleagues on the judging panel, Oliver Waespi and Lucy Pankhurst, were impressed by the personal 'voices' that shone through the entries.

We are looking forward to an excellent final, when Stijn, Daniel and Paul will hear their works for the first time."


Stijn Aertgeerts, aged 26 is a tuba player with Brass Bsnd Willebroek whose compositions have been performed by leading bands and soloists across Europe, including Eikanger-Bjorsvik. Since 2016 he has also been the conductor of Brassband Burgipja.

22 year-old Daniel Hall is currently studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff and has already had a number of his works performed by leading bands. His work, 'Sanctuary!' will be the set-test in the Premier Section of the 2019 European Youth Brass Band Championship.

Paul Saggers aged 33 currently serves in the Royal Marines Band Service where he was able to complete his BMus degree and is working towards his MMus in Composition.

His work, 'The Great Storm Cat' was premiered by the Cornwall Youth Brass Band, whilst 'The Roar of the Khamsin' was shortlisted for the 2017 RWCMD Composer Competition and was premiered by the Cory Band.

My colleagues on the judging panel, Oliver Waespi and Lucy Pankhurst, were impressed by the personal 'voices' that shone through the entriesEBBA Music Commission Chairman, Paul Hindmarsh


The EBBA Music Commission took the opportunity to congratulate the other composers who entered; Aurelien Darbellay ('The Wicked Reflection'), Cedric Fuhrer ('Beyond All Summits'), Louis Kroni ('Miracle on the Hudson') and Théo Schmitt ('Particles Dance'); Linas Rupslaukis ('Ditto'), Pierre-Antoine Savoyat ('...Our Shame...') and Mathias Wehr ('The Complete Champions').

The European Composers Competition first took place in 1998, and has been won by the likes of Bertrand Moren (twice), Dag Egil Njaa, Simon Dobson, Kevin Houben, Paul McGhee and Stan Nieuwenhuis — all of who have gone on to write major works for the brass band medium.

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