9th European Composers Competition 2024


The Music Commission of the European Brass Band Association (EBBA) is pleased to announce the three composers whose new works for brass band will receive their premiere performances at the final of the 9th European Composers Competition, to be held in the Palanga Concerthall, Thursday, 2nd May 2024.

The three finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Dupertuis Gauthier (Switzerland), Magdalena

Jack Ledger-Dowse (England), Ascension

Lennert Van Laenen (Belgium), Red Planet


Gauthier Dupertuis (Switzerland)

Gauthier Dupertuis is a young Swiss composer and conductor born in 1997. He holds a Master’s degree in musicology and philosophy at the University of Fribourg (CH). Gauthier studied conducting at Fribourg Conservatory with Jean-Claude Kolly (CH), Stéphane Delley (CH) and Etienne Crausaz (CH). Wishing to broaden his musical horizons, he also obtained a diploma in choral conducting there in the class of Jean-Claude Fasel. In 2022, he successfully obtained his Diplom of Advanced Studies in orchestral conducting at the Bern University of the Arts, in the class of Florian Ziemen (DE).





Magdalena During a trip to Paris, I had the opportunity to visit the Louvre Museum. If it is best known for exhibiting the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, it is also full of gems that you discover while getting lost in its different galleries. Among these lesser-known paintings, one of them particularly touched me: Magdalena Bay, by the French painter François-Auguste Biard (1799-1882).

The work depicts a magnificent snowy landscape on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. However, in the foreground, the presence of the wreckage of a ship, bodies covered in snow and a visibly dying character make us understand that tragic events took place there. Thus, a strong contrast is formed between death and the sublime, between the desolation of the survivors of the shipwreck and the magnificence of the landscape.

In this work, I tried to describe the different elements of the painting, using contrasting sections and dissonances.


Jack Ledger-Dowse (England)

Jack Ledger-Dowse is a composer based in London, UK who composes music for the concert stage and screen. In 2023, Jack composed a fanfare for the Royal College of Music’s graduation ceremonies. Entitled Prince Consort Calling, the work now features in the RCM’s library collection. Jack’s choral work Ave Maria was selected by Paul Melalor as part of a masterclass series with JAM to be workshopped by VOCES8. Jack has been a scholar of the Royal College of Music since 2020, studying Composition and Composition for Screen since 2020.






The piece features tense and rumbling fast passages, lyrical and emotive thematic writing and ethereal, spacious moments sprinkled with delicate percussion. It aims to showcase the just how many different sounds that a band comprised of mostly of a single instrument family can really achieve, exploring the piercing high ranges of the cornets, the rumbly depths of the tubas, and even making use of humming sounds. After journeying through several different sound worlds, it gathers momentum and ends emphatically, with the full force of the band ending the piece in a powerful climax.


Lennert Van Laenen (Belgium)
At the age of six Lennart started taking percussion lessons and developed a passion for marimba with his current teacher Chin-Cheng Lin. In 2015 he joined Young Brassband Willebroek, and later got the opportunity to be part of the Championship band. Here is where he found his love for composing. In 2020 his first brass band piece was published and ever since he has been writing for brass. Last year his most recent piece ‘Sparkle’ won the runner-up prize at the composition competition 2023 of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.






Red Planet

The piece describes an imagined journey to the planet Mars. The composer tried to represent the emotions of this adventure and the adrenaline involved. Big contrasts in the music portray the paradoxes of fear, relief and excitement of the astronauts.

The finale of the European Composers Competition will be played by the Cory Band Thursday 2nd May in the Palanga Concert Hall at 20:00. In the concert Cory will be joined by the European Youth Brass Band, also conducted by Philip Harper.

Tickets can be bought here: https://tickets.paysera.com/en/event/geras-ebbc-2024-palanga-european-brass-band-championships

Preparations for EBBC 2024 Palanga is partially financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture.

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