Organ Competition Announcements

Corrections and additions to these listings are always welcome. Send announcements or news about your competition to AGO Headquarters:

AGO Competitions

The 2016 rules were published in the April-15 issue of TAO. The 2016 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performanc is now in progress.  Nine semifinalists will travel to Dallas and Houston for the semifinal and final rounds, held in conjunction with the 2016 AGO National Convention.  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.

The 2016 National Competition in Organ Improvisation is now in progress. The semifinal round was 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.

2016 Young Organist Competition – AGO Greater Columbia SC Chapter
March 12, 2016. Open to students in grades 8-12. Prizes: first place $1000; second place $500; third place $300; best Bach performance $250; hymn playing award $250. Application deadline is February 5, 2016. Rules and application available on the the Columbia Chapter website. Contact

Other (non-AGO) Competitions

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.

First Baptist Church Anthem Competition
For composers under 40; Prize is $1,600. Submission deadline is February 3, 2016.  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

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.

 Canadian International Organ Competition
The Competition is triennial and awards more than $115,000 CAD in cash and other prizes. The next competition is in 2017. Application Deadline is January 30, 2017. More information.

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

Ronald G. Pogorzelski-Lester D. Yankee Annual Competition
The Second Annual Competition calls for an organ composition of 10-12 minutes in length; there are no restrictions in regard to compositional style. The application deadline for submission of a proposal for commission is August 31, 2015; $10,000 cash award. More information and the online application.

The AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists ended with the 2015 regional conventions. 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.

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. The submission deadline for the 2016 award was 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. The submission deadline for the 2016 award was July 1, 2014. More information here.

2016 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. The application deadline is December 18, 2015. More information.

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.

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 or

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
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.

Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Competition
:  $3,000 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

The University of Michigan Organ Improvisation Competition
: First Prize $3,000, Second Prize $2,000, Third Prize $1,000. Application deadline is July 1, 2015. Final round is October 4, 2015. More information on the University of Michigan 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.

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. Application deadline is May 1, 2015.

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
:  $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 Feb.15, 2015.  For more information see our Facebook page.

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:

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

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.

Taylor Organ Competition–AGO Atlanta Chapter
: $10,000 First Prize/$5,000 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

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.

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.

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 $1,500, 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 $1,500. Deadline for submission is February 1, 2015. More information on the Pullen Memorial Church website.


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