The Pogorzelski-Yankee Annual Competition owes its existence to the generosity of two individuals, Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee. 2025 Guidelines. The annual competition calls for a new work composed for and performed on their R. J. Brunner & Company tracker house organ shown here in its former music room setting. The organ is now located at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. See the specifications (N.B. on the Great division, the Gemshorn 8′ has been replaced by the Principal 8′.)
Award: $10,000 cash prize; premiere performance on the Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Organ at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, usually in the spring of each year. Apply for the 2025 Pogorzelski-Yankee Annual Competition.
World Premiere of Let Down the Scale of Music from the Sky by Karim Al-Zand
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
2023 Pogorzelski-Yankee Award Winner
Karim Al-Zand has been named the 2023 Pogorzelski-Yankee awarded composer.
Al-Zand is a founding and artistic board member of Musiqa, Houston’s premier contemporary music group, which presents concerts featuring new and classic repertoire of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In his scholarly work, he has pursued several diverse areas of music theory, including topics in jazz, counterpoint, and improvisation (both jazz and 18th century extemporization). Al-Zand was born in Tunis, Tunisia, raised in Ottawa, Canada and educated in Montreal (McGill University, BMus 1993) and Cambridge (Harvard University, PhD 2000). Since 2000 he has taught composition and music theory in Houston at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University.
2024 Pogorzelski-Yankee Award Winner
Udi Perlman has been named the 2024 Pogorzelski-Yankee awarded composer. He is an Israeli composer based in New Haven, Connecticut and Berlin, Germany.
Described as “surprising, rich, and colorful” (Haaretz), his music has been commissioned by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Bang on a Can Festival, Yale Glee Club, Lysander Piano Trio, International Ensemble Modern Academy, and the European Capital of Culture Festival. His Bruegel-inspired organ work Big Fish Eat Little Fish was written for organist Carolyn Craig, who performed it at Truro Cathedral, UK, Yale University’s Woolsey Hall and across many other venues in the United States.
Perlman is a recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Composer Award, the François Schapira Prize for Composition from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and was composer-in-residence at I-Park Foundation (Connecticut) and Herrenhaus Edenkoben (Germany). Haaretz newspaper named him in 2021 as one of nine “most promising Israeli contemporary composers”. Perlman is a DMA candidate in composition at the Yale School of Music, where his doctoral thesis won the 2022 Friedmann Thesis Prize. He holds degrees from the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin (Artist Diploma) and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (B. Mus. & M.Mus.). His mentors include Christopher Theofanidis, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Martin Bresnick, Jörg Widmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Yinam Leef and Menachem Wissenberg.
(Photo credit: Matthew Fried)
2022 Composer, Rachel Laurin – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
2021 Composer, Aaron David Miller – Oceanic Vision
2020 Composer, Henry Martin – It’s About Time
2019 Composer, Frederick Hohman – Listen to The Organ Icons and a discussion with Frederick Hohman.
2018 Composer, Chris LaRosa – Listen to Monument and discussion with Dr. LaRosa.
Listen to Monument in an orchestral version!
2017 Composer, Christopher Adler – Listen to Construct: for organ and a discussion with Professor Adler.
2016 Composer, Claude Baker – Listen to Sept Hommages and a half-hour interview with Dr. John Levey.
M. Jonathan Ryan, MM, FAGO, ChM, ex officio (Vice President/Councillor for Competitions and New Music) Email
AGO Headquarters Email