CALL FOR WORKS — UNM 2021: Aarhus


Ung Nordisk Musik is an annual festival for young composers, sound artists, and performance artists based in any of the Nordic countries. In 2021 the festival takes place on 9-15/8 in Aarhus, Denmark.

Since its beginning in 1946, UNM has been an important window for young, nordic music. UNM Denmark wants to present a cross-section of the vibrant and varied music scene in Denmark.

Composers/sound artists based in Denmark (or citizens of Denmark abroad) under the age of 30 or currently studying, are invited to apply to represent Denmark and have a piece performed at the next Ung Nordisk Musik festival in Aarhus in August 2021.

The theme of the 2021 festival, (un)common ground, suggests both the mutually understood and the rarefied. It encompasses the geographic notion of the nordic region as a shared space amongst the festival’s participants without treating them as a monolithic group, but may also point towards ways of using the public/private local venues in which the festival’s events occur. The common ground is communicative while the uncommon ground is alienating. The common ground implies a sense of equality amongst individuals while the uncommon ground acknowledges the asymmetry of power. In choosing this theme we hope to push composers/sound artists/performers into submitting work that could be easily comprehensible and/or recognizably unusual. The large number of possible interpretations should give artists the freedom to exploit the theme’s vagueness and solicit a diverse array of responses that will help us understand what exactly is our (un)common ground.

There is no stylistic criteria. Experimental / Instrumental / Electronic / Installation / Multimedia / Performance-based works will all be taken into consideration.

An independent jury of 3 professional composers / musicians will select a total of 7 works. The jury was chosen in an open meeting in October 2019. The identities of the jury members will be revealed along with the 7 chosen composers / works in October 2020.

If the gender balance of the applicants is between 50/50 and 15/85, and at least two male and two non-male composers have been awarded points by the jury, at least two male and two non-male composers will be offered places at the festival.

Travel and accommodation expenses up to 6.500DKK will be covered by the festival.

Selected composers are required to attend the whole festival, including lectures/seminars.


1. The application form is found here:

2. A maximum of 2 works per composer will be considered.

3. The selection process is anonymous. Therefore, all material MUST be free from dedications, or any mention of ensembles or previous performances, etc.

4. UNM Danmark must receive all materials by no later than 11:59 PM on the 15 of June 2020.

5. Composers / sound artists, who do not write scores, are encouraged also to send a description of the artistic ideas in the submitted work. (Max one A4-page per work.) (NOTE: The description has to be in English!)

6. ANONYMOUS material must be sent in digital form (remember to delete all metadata!):

Send all materials (.pdf/mp3/mp4 etc, either as an attachment or via dropbox/wetransfer) together with a completed application form to:


UNM will book everything needed for the performance of the selected works – the performers, the spaces and technical equipment – based on the works themselves. The largest possible ensemble is an augmented sinfonietta (full orchestra works will not be considered).