Organ Competition Announcements

AGO Competitions

Ronald G. Pogorzelski-Lester D. Yankee Annual Competition
The first Annual Competition called for an organ composition of 10-12 minutes in length; there were no restrictions in regard to compositional style. The application deadline was Nov. 28, 2014; $10,000 cash award. More details in the New Music section of the website.

The 2016 National Competition in Organ Improvisation is now in progress. The semifinal round will be held in Charlotte in conjunction with the Southeast Regional Convention in 2015; the final round will be held in conjunction with the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston.  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. Further details are published in THE AMERICAN ORGANIST. You may also request information from AGO National Headquarters.

2015 Twin Cities Composition Competition
Award: $1500. An unpublished, newly composed (2012 or later) work for pipe organ and instrument(s) of any combination. TCAGO. Application deadline is May 1, 2015.

The AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists are now in progress. Prizes: Chapter level varies. Regional: First place – $1,000; Second – $500. Additional information may be requested from National Headquarters by email, fax, mail or telephone. The AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists are made possible by a generous grant from Michael Quimby, President, Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc.

Other Competitions

Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Competition
Award:  $3000 First Prize.  The application deadline is June 8, 2015, and the competition dates are September 11-13, 2015.  For information and application contact First Church of Christ in Wethersfield CT, or

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.

Grand Prix Bach de Lausanne, Fifth International Organ Competition
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:

West Chester University Fourteenth Annual Organ Competition
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 3, 2015.  For repertoire and application see our website:


The competitions below are closed to new entries/submissions or are inactive.

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.

Ninth Mikael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition
:  $5000 First Prize/$3000 Second Prize/$2000 Third Prize.  Competition is open to organists born not earlier than January 1, 1981. The application deadline for the Kansas round is Feb.15, 2015.  For more information:

Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition in Organ Playing
The scholarship is offered with the cooperation of the Syracuse Chapter. There are two scholarship awards, $3000 and $1000. Competitors must not have reached their 30th birthday by April 11, 2015. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 7, 2015; competition is April 11, 2015. Contact Will Headlee at

Young Organist Competition 2015–AGO Columbia SC Chapter
March 7, 2015. Open to students in grades 8-12. Prizes: first place, $1000; second place, $500; third place $300; hymn-playing $250. Application deadline is February 7, 2015. Contact; rules and application available online at the Columbia chapter 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 – $1500; Second – $1000; Third – $500. The application deadline is February 1, 2015. More information on the DC chapter website.

Taylor Organ Competition–AGO Atlanta Chapter
: $10,000 First Prize/$5000 Second Prize. Saturday, April 18, 2015.  Open to organists born after June 1, 1992. The application deadline is October 15, 2014.  For information including repertoire see

2016 AGO/Marilyn Mason Award in Organ Composition
: $2,000 cash prize provided by Marilyn Mason, publication by Hinshaw Music Inc., and performance at the 2016 AGO National Convention. Submission deadline is July 1, 2014. More information here.

2016 AGO/ECS Publishing Aware in Choral Composition
: $2,000 cash prize provided by ECS Publishing, publication by ECS Publishing, and premier performance at the AGO National Convention. Submission deadline is July 1, 2014. More information here.

Winston-Salem AGO 4th Annual High School Organ Festival and Competition
The competition is open to any high school senior or younger organist who has not previously won the competition’s First Prize. First Prize, $2000; Second Prize $1000; Third Prize, $500; Fourth Prize $350.  Application deadline is December 19, 2014. More information.

Rodgers Classical Organ Competition
Open to performers 14 to 22 years of age. Three finalists will receive expenses-paid trip to perform at the Musical Instruments Museum in Phoenix, Arizona on May 5, 2015. Judges are Dr. Frederick Swann, Felix Hell and Christoph Bull. The deadline for entries is January 5, 2015. Prizes: First Place/$3,000, Second Place/$2,000, Third Place/$1.500. Sponsored by Rodgers Instruments.

The University of Michigan Organ Improvisation Competition
: First Prize $3000, Second Prize $2000, Third Prize $1000. Application deadline is July 1, 2014. Final round is Tuesday, September 30, 2014. More information on the University of Michigan 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.

The 2014 semifinal round was held in Columbus Ga. on May 22, 2014. The 2014 final round was held at the AGO National Convention in Boston, June 23, 2014.  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. and a CD recording on the Pro Organo label; Second Place – $3,000, funded by John-Paul Buzard Pipe Organ Builders; Third Place – $2,000, funded by Kegg Pipe Organ Builders; Audience Prize – $1000, funded by Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company Inc.

2014 Schoenstein Competition in Hymn Playing
: $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 or contact Dr. Stuart Forster at

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:

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.

The L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Organ Competition for High School Students
: First Prize $1500, Second Prize $750, Third Prize $300. The application deadline is March 31, 2014. More information on the Northeastern Connecticut Chapter website.

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 $1500. Deadline for submission is February 1, 2015. More information on the Pullen Memorial Church website.


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