Fifth Edition Of the Canadian International Organ Competition: A Piping Hot Competition


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MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 – The Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC) presents its fifth  competition edition from October 13 to 24 in Montreal. The competition is divided into three rounds with 16  candidates from 10 different countries. After a rigorous pre-selection process and a virtual first-round, there remain 10 semi-finalists who will gather to compete in person next month. Montreal audiences will have the opportunity to  discover a new generation of the most talented organists from around the world during the two remaining  competition rounds. In addition to the semi-final and final rounds, there will be recitals by several members of the  jury and CIOC alumni to showcase some of Montreal’s finest organs. All told, we will present 17 events at 10 different venues around the city.

Competition Rounds

The semi-final and final competition rounds will take place in three different venues. Admission to the semi-final rounds  is by free-will donation, and tickets for the final round are $25. The rounds will feature video projection on giant screens inside the venues, enabling audiences to see the impressive technical skills of these young organists firsthand. The  competition begins with the first part of the semi-final round at Immaculée-Conception Church (October 14, 15, at  4 p.m. and 7 p.m.) with a repertoire composed of works by Bach, Bruhns, Buxtehude, and Lübeck. The second part  of the semi-final round will take place at Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church (October 18, 19, at 6:30 p.m.) with repertoires  from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. The final round will take place at Montreal’s prestigious Maison Symphonique 

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(October 22, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.), during which each of the 5 finalists selected after the semi-final rounds will  present recitals consisting of repertoire spanning eras and styles from baroque to 21st century music.

The competition rounds will also be available through livestreams on the CIOC Facebook page and YouTube channel. Audience members both in-person and online will be able to cast votes for their favourite competitor for the $5,000  Richard-Bradshaw Audience Prize.

Competitors and Jury

The 10 semi-finalists, aged 24 to 35, were selected to participate in this year’s competition among the original 16  carefully chosen candidates by a jury of renowned organists. The competitors include Bryan Anderson (USA), Ben  Bloor (U.K.), Tyler Boehmer (Canada), Hina Ikawa (Japan), Alex Little (U.K.), Andrew Morris (USA), Seona Mun  (South Korea), Tom Rioult (France), Anastasia Stahl (Russia), and Aaron Tan (Canada / Philippines).

The 2021 winner will be chosen by an international jury presided by Jean-Willy Kunz (Canada), accompanied by  Martin Baker (U.K.), Bernard Foccroulle (Belgium), Rachel Laurin (Canada), William Porter (USA), Louis Robilliard  (France), Helga Schauerte-Maubouet (Germany and France), Dong-ill Shin (South Korea), and Patricia Wright  (Canada).

Prizes total over $125 000, which is one of the largest award disbursements by any international organ competition.  The grand-prize winner will take home $25 000 in addition to the chance to record an album with ATMA Classique,  career management services by Karen McFarlane Artists, and a 3-year career development program by the CIOC.

Festival Recitals

True to its tradition, the Canadian International Organ Competition will present an annual festival of recitals, featuring  members of its international jury. The opening concert on Wednesday, October 13 at 7 p.m. will offer the  opportunity to listen to the artistry of the renowned British organist Martin Baker in The Art of Improvisation at the  Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. Other recitals give the opportunity to hear great organ virtuosi on some of the  finest instruments in Montreal: Masterclass with Louis Robilliard (October 16, 10 a.m., Maison Symphonique), Bach  at Red Roof with William Porter (October 16, 3 p.m., Church of St. John the Evangelist), Mozart at the Oratory with  Dong-ill Shin (October 17, 7 p.m., Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal), Alain and Vierne: 20th Century Masters  of the Organ with Helga Schauerte-Maubouet (October 20, 7 p.m., Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus Church), Marcel Dupré  and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with David Baskeyfield (October 21, 7 p.m., Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church), Omaggio  festivo with Rachel Laurin (October 23, 2 p.m., Saint-Hyacinthe-le-Confesseur Cathedral), Dialogues between Past  and Present with Bernard Foccroulle (October 24, 3 p.m., Grand Séminaire de Montréal). The Gala Concert in  honour of CIOC co-founder Mr. E. Noël Spinelli will close the competition in grand style on Sunday, October 24 at  7 p.m. at Saint-Anges de Lachine Church featuring the 2021 winners performing on a magnificent Casavant Organ.

Partner Festival

The Canadian International Organ Competition is proud to be the sponsor of the Festival des Couleurs de l’orgue  français since 2013. This festival presents concerts each Sunday in October at the Chapelle du Grand Séminaire de  Montréal at 3 p.m. The 2021 edition will include performances by Joel Peters (October 3), Yulia Draginda (October  10), Sylvain Caron (October 17), Bernard Foccroulle (October 24), and Yves-G. Préfontaine (October 31).


The Canadian International Organ Competition is a registered charity that is dedicated to creating unique events and  activities that showcase the talents of organists throughout the world. The promotion of the cultural importance of pipe  organs – treasures of our heritage – through collaboration with partner organizations in the organ world, is at the core  of its’ mission.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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