Scholarship Holder

Shuteen Erdenebaatar

As a classically trained musician in her home town of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Shuteen Erdenebaatar discovered jazz for the first time at the age of sixteen. The feeling of freedom to improvise music not just from sheet music but from the heart was an incisive experience for her. That's why she decided to come to Munich in 2018 to study for a jazz master's degree in order to broaden her musical horizons.

When she was awarded the Kurt Maas Jazz Award 2021 at the beginning of her studies in Munich, this was confirmation for her to follow her own individual path with her own compositions. When the pandemic hit, she used the time to intensively explore her artistic identity and also to break out of the more conventional study program. Together with Nils Kugelmann, Valentin Renner and Anton Mangold, she therefore founded the Shuteen Erdenebaatar Quartet.

As she found it difficult to put her musical ideas into a single project, she launched two further projects of her own: A duo of contra-alto clarinet and piano, which shows her "classical" side, and a configured twenty-piece chamber jazz orchestra that is made up of a combination of typically "classically" labeled instruments such as horn, tuba and string quartet, as well as a kind of scaled-down big band with an extended rhythm section.

In 2023, she signed a three-album contract with all three projects with the renowned New York label Motéma. Her debut album Rising Sun with the Shuteen Erdenebaatar Quartet was released on September 15, 2023 as the prelude to this trilogy - an album that shows Shuteen's different facets. Work has already begun on the albums with duo and orchestra.

I started with small steps to strengthen and define my own presence as an artist. This process adds a lot to my responsibility and confidence to build my profile at my own pace and in my own way, the way I want to. I see it as a constructive process and an incredibly valuable experience to develop myself individually as an artist...
© Ralf Dombrowski

© Ralf Dombrowski

"...For me, my music is about telling stories that feel natural and are comprehensible. For me, art is something that is not constructed, but something that you (re)discover in close proximity. As a jazz musician with classical training and as an ambassador between different cultures, my music is imbued with honest feelings and observations from my own perceptions in music and also in life. In my compositions, I also try to give the musicians and the audience space for their own imaginary world in which they can express their own voice."

Shuteen's vision is to create an interactive and inclusive process in which the music is constantly moving and evolving both through an exchange between the musicians and in connection with the audience. She wants to make music for others, not for herself, and to show people something new, to inspire, to spread joy and peace.

I have always believed that one person may not be able to change the whole world, but they can change the world for one person. I often remember how recordings of Maria Schneider, Mary Lou Williams and Geri Allen, among others, impressed and influenced me in the past and helped me to believe in my strengths. In the same way, I hope that I can light a light for my next generations and pave the way for them that anything can be possible if you stand behind what you want.

It is important to her to create a connection between things that usually seem to be separate - between classical music and jazz, between East and West or between people on and in front of the stage.

However, the musician herself lives separately from the place where she comes from and where her personality was formed. After studying classical music for fifteen years, she decided to move away from Ulaanbaatar and pursue her desire to become a jazz musician. This led her to Munich, the place where she has now arrived and where she has found her artistic identity. In order to have space for this process, she built up a distance to the old.

© Georg Stirnweiß

© Georg Stirnweiß

"I always wanted to reconnect with my roots, and this will now happen with the support of the Concerto21 Foundation. Together with the foundation, we are planning two concerts in Ulaanbaatar and Munich, which will build a bridge between my two homelands, between two continents, between the past and the future. Suddenly, something I have longed for for a long time and didn't know how to realize is being supported and implemented in every way by Concerto 21. As a classical musician, I left my home country five years ago and am returning as an internationally active jazz musician."

The Concerto21 Foundation would like to document this project on film together with Shuteen Erdenebaatar. In doing so, we are not only telling the story of this outstanding musician, but also an unusual and enriching story for the Mongolian cultural landscape.

Cookies are required to play this video. More information in our privacy statement.