AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation
The National Competition in Organ Improvisation seeks to further the art of improvisation by recognizing and rewarding superior performance in the field. A flourishing tradition of improvisation is fundamental to a truly vital musical culture.
The competition is open to all organists regardless of age, citizenship, or AGO membership. Applicants who do not reside in the U.S. are responsible for understanding and complying with U.S. visa requirements as well as travel costs where applicable. First-place winners of a previous NCOI are not eligible. The NCOI occurs biennially and commences with a recorded Application Round followed by a semifinal and final round held in conjunction with the National Convention. Prizes: First Place – $5,000, a CD recording on the Pro Organo label, and a promotional video, both distributed by Naxos of America, Second Place – $3,000, Third Place – $2,000, Audience prize – $1,500.
The 2020 Semifinal and Final Rounds that were planned for the 2020 Atlanta Convention were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Final Round that was conducted by recordings was held in May, 2021. Ivan Bosnar won the First Prize and Audience Prize, and Samuel Gaskin won the Second Prize.
2022 NCOI Official Rules The online application will be accessible from this page later this fall.
Ivan Bosnar 2020 NCOI First Place and Audience Prize Winner
Ivan Bosnar, a native of Croatia, is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Organ Performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he has studied organ with Nathan Laube and improvisation with Edoardo Bellotti and William Porter. Previously, he studied at Zagreb Music Academy and at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Ivan won First Prize in the Croatian Organ Student Competition in 2009, as well as Second Prize and Audience Prize in the University of Michigan Organ Improvisation Competition in 2016. He serves as Organist and Music Director at St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport, NY.
A special note to chapters—hosting an AGO competition winner is the perfect chapter event! Ivan lives and works in the Rochester, New York area, and he is available for recitals or improvisation workshops. For more information, contact Ivan Bosnar or AGO Headquarters.
Past NCOI Winners
2016 Thomas Dahl First Place and Audience Prize
Matt Gender Second Place
Kalle Toivio Third Place
2006 Tom Trenney First Place and Audience Prize
Vincent Carr Second Place
No Third Place awarded