Principles of Music Composing: Orchestra in Contemporary Contexts

November 20th – 22nd 2019 (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Orchestra is not only one of the key categories of musical practice, but also a broad sociocultural phenomenon. Intellectual shifts in post-modern (aesthetic) medium, technological opportunities, and cultural migration are opening up more and more unexpected conceptual and technical perspectives for orchestra, while also challenging established theoretical tools. The conference “Principles of Music Composing” (XIX) invites researchers and composers to rethink and explore the multifarious factors of orchestra, its role and transformation in contemporary (musical) contexts. Such an object is of particular importance at national level, commemorating the anniversary of one of the most prominent Lithuanian symphonists – Eduardas Balsys.

The problematics of the subject embraces the encounter of innovative solutions and the orchestral tradition, the search for new technological means as well as the maintenance of orchestral cultural values. The aim of the conference is to stimulate intellectual and aesthetic efforts towards an authentic up-to-date relationship with the orchestral tradition.

The spectrum of the topics is detailed by the following sub-topics:

1. Theoretical and methodological aspects:
a) The concept of orchestra (elements, limits, criteria, etc).
b) Correlations of theoretical concepts (orchestral and timbral perception, interrelation between concepts of orchestral and chamber music, orchestral thinking and audiation, etc.).
c) Methodological principles of orchestration teaching.

2. Technological aspect:
a) Technical, technological, acoustic, aesthetic, socio-cultural, etc. factors of orchestra and their practical realization;
b) Influence of technological innovations (extended techniques, electronics, etc.) on conceptual and technical dimensions of orchestra, their relation to conventional orchestral approach;
c) The craftsmanship and orchestration principles of contemporary composers.

3. Orchestral genres and styles:
a) Different genres of orchestra and their specifics (concert music, opera, music for theater and cinema, soundtracks, etc.);
b) The integrity of style and orchestral techniques;
c) Timbral approaches and orchestral conceptions in contemporary music;
d) Peculiarities of the style and genres of orchestral works by Eduardas Balsys.

4. Cultural factors:
a) The distinctions and interactions between Western and non-Western orchestras (gamelan, gagaku, archaic orchestras, etc.);
b) Integration of unconventional means and sounds into Western orchestral tradition;
c) Sociocultural role of an orchestra (aspects of cultural policy, commission for a piece, etc.);
d) The interaction between modern techniques and national music in the orchestral works by Eduardas Balsys.

Paper proposals (abstract and a short biography) should be sent by email: The abstract must not exceed 500 words. The duration of full presentation is limited to 20–25 minutes.

The main language of the conference is English.

The deadline for proposal submissions is the 1st of September, 2019. Proposals will be reviewed by the members of the scholarly committee and all applicants will be notified of the outcome in the second half of September 2019.

The participation fee is 20 Euros.

Selected papers of the conference will be published in the annual peer reviewed scientific journal ‘Principles of Music Composing’.