UNM — Ung Nordisk Musikk — is an annual festival presenting the youngest generation of Nordic composers. The festival alternates its host between Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. Since the inaugural festival in 1946, UNM has made a steadfast commitment in promoting and presenting the new music of Northern Europe. It is a showcase for what will come, a sneak peak into the future of Nordic art music. UNM has served as a vital platform for past and current prominent composers from within the region, as the festival has often kickstarted composers’ careers both at home and abroad.

The festival has never been curated under a single artistic director: all pieces are chosen anonymously by independent juries from each participating country, which has contributed to UNM’s diversity in mediums, expressions and styles. Beyond the mission of engaging an audience in the Nordic music of the future, UNM is also a festival for the participating composers. It provides a platform for young composers to meet their counterparts across the borders through social gatherings, lectures and workshops held by esteemed composers of the host nation.


We welcome you to the 72nd edition of UNM! This year marks a break in tradition: for the first time in decades, the festival is held in a different city than the Norwegian capital, Oslo. For years, the Norwegian festival has invited the same ensembles to the same venues and collaborating with the same institutions. The current board felt that it was time for a change, as Norway has fantastic musicians, composers and music institutions all across the nation, and that is something we to be celebrated. We want to make UNM a festival for everyone, a festival that reflects the different approaches in creating and collaborating in music.

We chose to name this year’s festival Statements and Rituals because we believe it sums up to much of what UNM is about. It is a kind of ritual: it keeps a rather similar structure every year, always moving in full circle, from country to country. But paradoxically, UNM represents and consists of those who want to break traditions and create new paths. These contradictions are often something that one faces in creative work as well: young composers always deal with both musical and institutional traditions. In that, they challenge and learn from these traditions at the same time. It is through this process that the young composers could shape their own voices and make statements about what music should be.


Jonas Lie Skaarud – chairman
Martin Nygård Haug – deputy chair
Tine Surel Lange – board member
Tze Yeung Ho – board member
Aslak Bjørge Hermstad – producer
Tor Anders Eri – producer
Åsa Osmundsen Opedal – producer
Ania Popowska – producer
Martin A. Hirsti-Kvam – producer
Terje Sylvarnes – Assistant producer
Pia Møller Johansen – Social Events Coordinator

Composers and ensembles

Studio Kaabel