2019 Tallinn

May 2, 2019 – May 10, 2019
Tallinn, Tartu, Laulasmaa

Festival info

Start: May 2, 2019

End: May 10, 2019

Locations: Tallinn, Tartu, Laulasmaa

Hosting member(s)


ISCM WMD in Estonia aims at introducing contemporary music in its diverse forms of manifestation. The festival mainly focuses on choral music in its various expressions of genre and style. On the other hand, the festival concentrates on the experiments between music and other fields of art, including the intersections between music and architecture, theatre, audiovisual art and literature. Therefore, we are inviting composers and sections to propose musical work dealing with the abovementioned themes while reflecting contemporary music in as rich and extensive spectrum as possible.

From contemporaneous reviews

“So who is World Music Days for, and what purpose does it serve? The ISCM has the capacity to break contemporary music out of its often insular space by bringing an international festival of contemporary artists to a new city every year. However, the logistics of the programming were anything but accessible for audience members. World Music Days unfolded at an uncomfortably frenetic pace, with concerts lasting an average of 90 minutes or more, sometimes bleeding into the next event, and requiring audiences to run from one venue to the next with no time for meals. Every performance I attended was a traditional sit-down concert in a fairly standard performance space that adhered to the typical pageantry of concert music—no prefatory remarks, no engagement with the audience, just a one-way dialogue.

“If World Music Days isn’t primarily for outside audiences, is the goal of the festival to simply allow composers to gather and have their works played for each other? This seems short-sighted and will only push the ISCM toward becoming obsolete, especially if future festivals continue to exclude and marginalize entire communities of artists. Correcting these inequities starts with putting socially conscious people in leadership positions.”

— Amanda Cook, “World Music Days 2019 and Estonian Music Days Converge in Tallinn,”
I Care If You Listen, May 22, 2019.

“Frank Brickle reported on another standout work offered in Tallinn, Estonia, where ISCM World Music Days is unfolding:

“Katherine Bergman’s work for wind band was an, ‘unusual take on an ensemble that’s easy to use in a hackneyed way. Shows influence of current American post-minimal techniques without being obviously imitative.’

“’I am as pleased as can be about being blindsided by the pieces by the two young composers’ [Yulan Qiu and Katherine Bergman.]

“It is worth explaining that the selection process for ISCM submissions often results in the safest selections–the most safely modernist or the most safely post-minimalist, the most safely entrenched.”

–William Anderson, “Katherine Bergman Makes a Splash at ISCM WMD in Tallinn, Estonia,”
Roger Shapiro Fund Website News, 6 May 2019. 

Programme information