AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS
NAMES PRIZEWINNERS IN
NATIONAL YOUNG ARTISTS COMPETITION
IN ORGAN PERFORMANCE
NEW YORK CITY The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS (AGO) is pleased to announce the prizewinners in the NATIONAL YOUNG ARTISTS COMPETITION IN ORGAN PERFORMANCE (NYACOP). Semifinal and final rounds of the 20002002 competition were held in Philadelphia, Pa., in conjunction with the AGO National Convention, July 26:
The Lilian Murtagh Memorial Prize: $2,000 cash award and
career development assistance provided by Karen McFarlane Artists, and
CD recording provided by Naxos of America Inc.
KOLA PAUL OWOLABI
$2,000 cash award provided by John-Paul Buzard Pipe Organ Builders
$1,000 cash award provided by the Noack Organ Company
Audience Choice Prize
KOLA PAUL OWOLABI
$500 cash award provided by the Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company
TIMOTHY OLSEN, a Minnesota native, is currently a doctoral student of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. He received his bachelors degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., where he studied with Peter Nygaard. He received his masters degree from the Eastman School of Music in 2000, studying with Mr. Higgs. Mr. Olsen was a finalist in the Arthur Poister Competition in 1997 and 2001, the John Rodland Memorial Scholarship Competition in 1999, and a semifinalist in the NDR International Organ Competition in Germany in 2000. He is currently director of music-organist at the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in Rochester.
KOLA PAUL OWOLABI, a native of Toronto, Canada, holds a bachelor of music degree from McGill University, where he studied with Bruce Wheatcroft and John Grew. He was the recipient of the McGill Faculty of Music Salsinger Tani Gold Medal in Performance. In 1999, Mr. Owolabi won second prize in the RCCO National Organ Playing Competition. Currently a master of music degree candidate at Yale University, he is pursing a double major in organ performance and choral conducting under the tutelage of Martin Jean and Marguerite Brooks. He has served as assistant organist at St. Michaels Cathedral in Toronto, the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul in Montreal, and is currently organist at the Yale University Chapel. Mr. Owolabi is also a published composer, and has received commissions from the Archdiocese of Toronto and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
CHRISTIAN SCHMITT was born in Erbringen, Saar, Germany, and studied musicology and theology at the University of Saarbrücken. He also studied church music there with Leo Krämer. A scholarship student at Boston Conservatory, he is pursuing the artist diploma as a student of James David Christie. He has been a prizewinner at various international organ competitions, including those in Spire, Brugges, Tokyo, Ljuljan, and Rome. A 2001 winner of the Deutscher Musikrat in Berlin, he was invited by President Johannes Rau to play at the state visit in Australia and New Zealand.
The NATIONAL YOUNG ARTISTS COMPETITION IN ORGAN PERFORMANCE promotes the highest level of organ performance. The competition serves as a springboard for emerging young organists, allowing them to continue to develop their performance ability by participating in the various demanding stages of this competition. Established in 1950 and held biennially, the competition is open to organists between the ages of 22 and 32. For the 20002002 NYACOP, twenty competitors were selected to compete in a tape round based upon application and a cassette recording of a live recital. Seven competitors were chosen to participate in the semifinals; three were chosen to participate in the final round. Judges for the semifinal and final rounds were Mary Preston, Margaret Kemper, and George Ritchie. Major support for the 20002002 NYACOP was provided by the Reuter Organ Company and by the AGO Nita Akin Fund.
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, the AGO seeks to set and maintain high musical standards and to promote understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The purpose of the AGO is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members. The Guild currently serves more than 20,000 members in 343 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 24,000 each month. The official Web site of the AGO is <www.agohq.org>.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists and The American Organist Magazine. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman by TEL (212) 870-2310, FAX (212) 870-2163 or E-MAIL <firstname.lastname@example.org>.