Contact AGO Headquarters to update or include your competition.
2018 AGO/National Competition in Organ Improvisation
The 2018 National Competition in Organ Improvisation is now in progress; application deadline is January 1, 2017. Prizes: First Place – $3,000, funded by McNeil Robinson; Second Place – $2,000, funded by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders; Third Place – $1,500, funded by Pamela and Steven Ruiter-Feenstra; Audience prize – $1500, funded by David and Robin Arcus.
2017 AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists
The AGO/Quimby RCYO have a chapter and regional level. Application deadline is January 15, 2017. Prizes: Chapter level varies. Regional: First place – $1,000; Second – $500. The AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists are made possible by a generous grant from Michael Quimby, President, Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc.
Taylor Organ Competition–AGO Atlanta Chapter
Award: $10,000 First Prize, $5,000 Second Prize. Saturday, April 21, 2018. Open to organists born after June 1, 1995. The application deadline is October 14, 2017. For information including repertoire see www.taylororgancompetition.com.
2017 Young Organist Competition – AGO Greater Columbia SC Chapter
March 11, 2017. Open to students in grades 8-12. Prizes: first place $1,500; second place $1,000; third place $750; best Bach performance $250; hymn playing award $250. Application deadline is February 3, 2017. Rules and application available on the the Greater Columbia Chapter website. Email
2017 Asia Organ Competition
Awards: First Place – $3,000, Second Place – $2,000, Third Place – $1000, Audience – $500. Organized by the Taiwan Chapter. The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to perform a winner’s recital in China. The application deadline is December 31, 2016; the competition will be held on July 19, 2017. Rules and application available on the Taiwan Chapter website and email.
2017 L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Organ Competition – AGO Northeastern Connecticut and Hartford Chapters
Open to High School students. Prizes: first place $1,500; second place $750; third place $300. Date: May 20, 2017; application deadline is March 24, 2017. More information. Email.
Other (non-AGO) Competitions
Southern Methodist University Undergraduate Scholarship (competition)
Awards: First Prize full tuition and fees scholarship to SMU for BMU in organ performance; Second Prize minimum of half tuition and fees scholarship to SMU for BM in organ performance. January 21, 2017. More information.
Wilmslow Parish Church Organ Composition Contest
Awards: First Place £150, Second Place (£100, Third Place £50; application deadline July 31, 2017.
St. Bartholomew’s Church, Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK announces an Organ Composition Contest for composers of all ages and nationalities to celebrate the renewal and augmentation of the church organ, by York Pipe Organs. Email
Eighth International Organ Competition Musashino-Tokyo
Awards: First Place – 1,200,000 yen. Application deadline January 20, 2017; finals are September 17, 2017. More information.
Acadamie Andre Marchal and Asssociation Gaston Litaize International Organ Competition
The competition is held in three churches in or near Paris, Ocotber 24 to 28, 2017. Application deadline: July 8, 2017. First Prize – 3,000 Euros, Second Prize – 2,000 Euros, Third Prize – 1,000 Euros. More information; Email.
Organs of the National Palace of Mafra International Composition Award
The competition is divided into two categories, one regarding the composition of an original work, and another concerning the transcription for the six organs. The value of the award is 10,000 Euros and 5,000 Euros, respectively. Application deadline is February 28, 2017. More information.
2017 East Carolina University Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance
Open to High School age organists from across the USA. March 16–18, 2017 in Greenville, North Carolina; generous prizes, Fisk organ. Application deadline is Feb. 15, 2017. More information.
2017 Annual High School Organ Festival and Competition – Winston-Salem Chapter
The competition is open to any high school senior or younger organist who has not previously won the competition’s First Prize. January 27-29, 2017. More information.
Tenth Mikael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition
Award: $5,000 First Prize, $3,000 Second Prize, $2,000 Third Prize. Competition is open to organists born not earlier than January 1, 1981. The application deadline for the Kansas round is March 1, 2017. For more information see Facebook and website.
Canadian International Organ Competition
Awards: $115,000 CAD in cash and other prizes. The competition is triennial. The next competition is in 2017. Application deadline is January 30, 2017.
The competitions below are closed to new entries/submissions or are inactive.
Indianapolis Symphonic Choir
Award: $1,000. The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir announces its seventh annual Christmas Carol Commission Competition. Submitted works must be original, unpublished, between 3 and 5 minutes long, and written for SATB choir. Submission deadline is August 31, 2016.
Ronald G. Pogorzelski-Lester D. Yankee Annual Competition
Award: $10,000 cash award. The Third Annual Competition calls for an organ composition of 10-12 minutes in length. The submission deadline is August 31, 2016.
2018 AGO/Marilyn Mason Award in Organ Composition
Award: $2,000 cash prize provided by Marilyn Mason, publication by Hinshaw Music Inc., and performance at the 2016 AGO National Convention. The submission deadline is July 1, 2016.
2018 AGO/ECS Publishing Aware in Choral Composition
Award: $2,000 cash prize and publication provided by ECS Publishing, and premier performance at the AGO National Convention. The submission deadline is July 1, 2016.
New England Carol Contest
The Choral Art Society (CAS) of Portland, Maine announces its 3rd annual New England Carol Contest. The contest is open to those born in, current resident of, or composer currently studying at a college, university, or conservatory in one of the six New England states.$500 cash prize. Submission deadline is July 15, 2016.
Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Competition
There is a High School Competition and a Young Professional Competition. The competition dates are September 30-October 2, 2016. The application deadline is June 15, 2016.
The University of Michigan Organ Improvisation Competition
Award: First Prize $3,000, Second Prize $2,000, Third Prize $1,000. Application deadline is July 1, 2016. Final round is October 2, 2016. University of Michigan
West Chester University Fourteenth Annual Organ Competition
Awards for ages 15 to 18: First Place/$600 and Second Place/$300 and for ages 19-25: First Place/$1500 and Second Place $750. The postmark deadline for applications is April 1, 2016.
Longwood Gardens International Competition
First prize is $40,000, Second Prize $15,000, Third Prize $5,000, Audience Choice Prize $1,000. Deadline for 2016 applications is November 2, 2015. More information.
International Organ Competition
Open to entrants of any nationality without age limit. First Prize: 1500 Euro, Second Prize 1000 Euro, Prix de Neuilly 800 Euro, Prix de Trouville 500 Euro. Application deadline March 1, 2016. Contact Festival de la Musique at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.orgue-neuilly.org
International Organ Competition Herford
Awards: First Prize 5000 Euro, Second Prize 4000 Euro, Third Prize 300 Euro. Application deadline is January 15, 2016. See our website.
2016 Miami International Organ Competition
First prize $5,000, sponsored by Fratelli Ruffatti. The competition is held February 26, 2016 at the Church of the Epiphany, Miami. Application deadline is December 7, 2015. For more information see www.facebook.com/MiamiOrganCompetition or Ruffatti.com.
First Baptist Church Anthem Competition
For composers under 40; Prize is $1,600. Submission deadline is February 3, 2016. More information.
Odoyevsky International Organ Competition
Open to entrants of any nationality between 17-33 years of age. Awards: First Prize 3000 Euro, Second Prize 2000 Euro, and Third Prize 1000 Euro. Application deadline September 20, 2015. See our website.
Grand Prix Bach de Lausanne, Fifth International Organ Competition
Awards: Grand Prix CHF 5000, Second Prize CHF 3000, Third Prize CHF 1500, Audience Prize CHF 500. Application deadline is August 14, 2015. For more information see our website
International Organ Competition
Awards: First Prize 4000 Euro, Second Prize 1500 Euro, Third Prize 750 Euro, Public Prize 500 Euro. Interpretation and/or Improvisation, August 24-29, 2015 in Dudelange, Luxembourg. Practicing facilities are available. There is a masterclass by all jury members. Application deadline is July 15, 2015. See our website.
Buxtehude Organ Competition
Awards: First Prize 8000 Euro, Second Prize 5000 Euro, Third Prize 3000 Euro. the application deadline is May 15, 2015. Buxtehude Competition website.
Breda International Organ Competition
The interpretation competition is open to professional organists born after November 1, 1980. The repertoire includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Olivier Messiaen, Jehan Alain, Jean Langlais and Petr Eben. The application deadline is March 1, 2015. Breda Competition website.
DC AGO Young Organists Competition
The DC AGO Young Organists Competition will take place on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 4 pm at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, DC. First place – $1,500; Second – $1,000; Third – $500. The application deadline is February 1, 2015. More information on the DC chapter website.
French Organ Music Seminar Composition Competition
Students attending the French Organ Music Seminar in 2015 under the age of 28 are invited to submit a composition. Application deadline is January 1, 2015. www.bfoms.com
2014 Schoenstein Competition in Hymn Playing
Award: $3,000 First Prize/$1000 Second Prize. Applications and Recorded Round Deadline: March 20, 2014. Final Round: Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM at Christ Church, Cambridge, Mass. For rules and applications see www.hymnplayingcompetition.org or contact Dr. Stuart Forster at email@example.com.
All Saints Church Composition Competition
All Saints Church in Northampton England has a proud tradition of commissioning new music for the church. Be a part of that tradition by submitting an anthem for SATB choir and organ, setting a text by John Clare. Award: £1000. Deadline for submission is March 21, 2014. Visit our website for more details: www.allsaintsnorthampton.co.uk
ARP-Schnitger Festival Organ Competition in Germany
The first round takes place from August 18 to August 25 at the historical organs in Altenbruch, Cappel and Lüdingworth. The final round follows on the organs of Arp Schnitger in Hamburg at the St. Jacobi and St. Katharinen churches. Application deadline is May 1, 2014. Visit the website for the official requirements and download an application.
Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Music Search
The competition calls for a SATB anthem with keyboard accompaniment that expresses the meaning of celebration of Easter from a theologically liberal viewpoint. Award is $1,500. Deadline for submission is February 1, 2015. More information on the Pullen Memorial Church website.
First Presbyterian Church National Organ Playing Competition
First Prize is $2,000 plus a recital, Second Prize is $1,000. Deadline for applications is February 1, 2016. More information.
The 2016 rules were published in the April-15 issue of TAO. The 2016 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance is now in progress. Prizes: First Place – $3,000, the Lilian Murtagh Memorial Prize, funded by Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc., plus career development assistance from Karen McFarlane Artists Inc, $10,000, the Jordan Prize, funded by the Jordan Organ Endowment, and a CD recording on the Pro Organo label; Second Place – $5,000, funded by Kegg Pipe Organ Builders; Third Place – $3,000, funded by John-Paul Buzard Pipe Organ Builders; Audience Prize – $1000, funded by Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company Inc.
2015 Twin Cities Composition Competition
Award: $1,500. An unpublished, newly composed (2012 or later) work for pipe organ and instrument(s) of any combination. TCAGO. Submission deadline is May 1, 2016.
Hymn Writing Contest
Award: $500. Mcalaster Plymouth United Church seeks a “hymn that welcomes individuals of all ages to share and connect as people of God at the communion table.” Submission deadline is December 31, 2016.