Accueil > Concours Messiaen > International Organ Interpretation Competition

International Organ Interpretation Competition

Auditorium de Lyon
17 to 23 June 2019

Competition President: Claude Samuel
Jury President: Olivier Latry

ABOUT THE COMPETITION

The Olivier Messiaen Competition is a contemporary piano competition established in 1967 as part of the Royan Festival and held in Paris until 2007. The baton has been passed to Bruno Messina, Director of AIDA (Isère’s arts distribution agency) to revive the competition in line with the artistic policy of the Maison Messiaen, a musicians’ residence in Matheysine, in south Isère.

The Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon was considered the ideal partner to accompany the relaunch of this international event which in 2019 will be dedicated to organ interpretation and presided over by Claude Samuel, founder of the Olivier Messiaen Competition, former head of music at Radio France, and author of several books of interviews with the composer. Indeed, the organ is closely associated with the work of Olivier Messiaen, organist for over 70 years of the Cavaillé-Coll grand organ at La Trinité Church in Paris. This particular instrument is also an important facet of the identity of the Auditorium de Lyon which houses a remarkable example that is unique in France.

Through the Festival Berlioz held in La Côte-Saint-André, AIDA—which produces this festival and heads up the Maison Messiaen—and the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon have forged a closely collaborative artistic relationship. What better venue than the Auditorium de Lyon and its Cavaillé-Coll organ to host organists from all over the world? Installed in the Auditorium de Lyon in 1977, this 82-stop organ was originally built in 1878 for the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris before being modernised and transferred to the Palais de Chaillot. The world premieres of many works have been performed on the organ, most notably Les Corps Glorieux by Messiaen, performed by the composer himself on 15 April 1945. Restored to its original splendour in 2013 (by Michel Gaillard, Manufacture Aubertin), it is the only grand organ in France outside Paris.

The 2019 competition will give particular onus to original composition as candidates will be required to perform a new piece in the final round. This piece was commissioned from Philippe Hersant, who will also have a seat on the jury alongside a number of other international figures, all experts in the organ and Messiaen.
For the relaunch in Lyon in June 2019, the competition will extend beyond Messiaen to establish a week of competition at the highest level, widely accessible to anyone who is curious to find out more about this orchestral instrument and the level of performance you expect from an international contest. The competition will be an integral part of a two-week programme honouring the instrument to create moments for families to share, celebratory concerts and recitals of the highest calibre.

The Olivier Messiaen International Organ Competition is open to organists up to the age of 30 from all over the world. It will take place in four rounds including three public rounds to be held in Lyon, from 17 to 22 June 2019. Prizes comprise financial awards and invitations to perform in the Auditorium’s season and the AIDA programme. The application form will be available on line on 15 October 2019.

JURY COMPOSITION

  • Olivier Latry (France)
    Jury President

Concert organist, professor of organ at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, and organist of the grand organ at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. His recording of Messaien’s complete organ music was released by Deutsche Grammophon.
(To be confirmed)

  • Thierry Escaich (France)

Organist, composer, professor of improvisation and composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, titular organist of the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont organ (Paris), former composer in residence at the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon (2007-2010), winner of four Victoires de la Musique Classique awards (composer of the year 2003, 2006, 2011 and 2017), member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institut de France.

  • Philippe Hersant (France)

Composer, former producer at France Musique, former composer in residence at the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon (1998-2000), winner of three Victoires de la Musique Classique Awards (composer of the year 2005, 2010 and 2016), composer of the new work to be played by all candidates in the Olivier Messiaen Competition final.

  • Edgar Krapp (Germany)

Organist, former professor of organ at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Musikhochschule in Munich, bureau member of the new Leipzig Bach Society and member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts.

  • Thomas Lacôte (France)

Organist, composer, professor of analysis at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, titular organist of the organ at La Trinité (Paris), member of the Fondation Messiaen, co-author of Le Modèle et l’Invention: Messiaen et la technique de l’emprunt (Symétrie, 2017).

  • Catherine Massip (France)

Musicologist, former general curator of the music department at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), former director of studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, author of numerous scientific articles, author of the catalogue for the Hommage à Olivier Messiaen exhibition at the BNF (1996), coordinator of the publication Portrait(s) d’Olivier Messiaen (BNF, 1996), President of the Fondation Olivier-Messiaen.

  • Leo Samama (Netherlands)

Composer and musicologist, former professor in the main Dutch conservatories and Utrecht University, former bureau member of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, former artistic director of the Hague Philharmonic, former artistic director and general manager of the Netherlands Chamber Choir, author of several publications (notably on 20th century Dutch music), and friend of Messiaen (for whom he translated on many occasions).

  • Liesbeth Schlumberger (South Africa)

Organist, professor of organ at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon, organist of the grand organs of the Église Protestante Unie de l’Étoile (Paris).

  • Benoît Mernier (Belgium)

Organist, composer, curator of Organ of the Palais des Beaux-Arts and organist of the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon (Bruxelles), professor of organ, improvisation and composition at the IMEP (Namur).

COMPETITION PROGRAMME

PRELIMINARY ROUND (RECORDING)

(Recorded piece)
Length: 15-20 minutes per candidate.
The repertoire entered into the preliminary round can be performed in the three public rounds.

1 - Repertoire by Johann Sebastian Bach chosen from the following:
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532
Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 535
Fantasia and Fugue in C minor,, BWV 537
Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 539
Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541
Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 547
Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 550
Prelude and Fugue in E major, BWV 566
Fantasia in G major, BWV 571
Fantasia (Pièce d’orgue) in G major,, BWV 572

2 - Repertoire by Olivier Messiaen chosen by the candidate.
Repertoire can be a specific movement from a work or part of a collection.

3 - A piece from repertoire composed between 1830 and 1945 chosen by the candidate.
This piece can be a specific movement from a work or part of a collection.

QUARTER-FINALS

The quarter-final round will take place on Monday 17 June 2019 at Eglise Saint-Pothin (in Lyon’s 6th arrondissement).
Length: 15-20 minutes per candidate.

1 - A prelude and fugue to be chosen from Marcel Dupré’s Op. 7:
Prelude and Fugue in B major, op. 7/1
Prelude and Fugue in F minor, op. 7/2
Prelude and Fugue in G minor, op. 7/3

2 - Repertoire by Olivier Messiaen chosen from the following:
«Transport de joie », from L’Ascension
«Alléluias sereins d’une âme qui désire le Ciel», from L’Ascension
«Dieu parmi nous», from La Nativité du Seigneur
«Joie et Clarté des corps glorieux», from Corps glorieux
«Offrande et Alléluia final», from Livre du Saint-Sacrement

SEMI-FINALS

The semi-final round will take place on Thursday 20 June 2019 at the Auditorium de Lyon.
Length: 20-25 minutes per candidate.

1 -2nd and 3rd movements of a trio sonata by Johann Sebastian Bach
To choose from the trio sonatas BWV 526 to 530.
Movements must be played without repeats.

2 - Two compulsory pieces, selected from Le Livre d’orgue by Olivier Messiaen :
N° 4, «Chants d’oiseaux»
N° 6, «Les Yeux dans les roues»

3 - Repertoire chosen by the candidate.

FINAL

The final round will take place on Saturday 22 June 2019 at the Auditorium de Lyon.
Length: 40-45 minutes per candidate.

1 - A compulsory piece composed by Philippe Hersant, commissioned by the Olivier Messiaen Competition.
The score will be available on 1 March. The commissioned work will be around eight minutes in length.

2 - A piece or a series of pieces by Olivier Messiaen of 8-15 minutes in length chosen by the candidate.
These pieces cannot be the same as the pieces performed in the quarter-final and semi-final rounds.

3 - Repertoire composed between 1830 and 1945 chosen by the candidate.
This repertoire must not contain any of the pieces performed in the quarter-final and semi-final rounds.

RULES

Introduction

The Olivier Messiaen Competition is a contemporary piano competition established in 1967 as part of the Royan Festival and held in Paris until 2007. Bruno Messina, director of AIDA (the Isère arts distribution agency), has been entrusted with its revival.

Article 1

Co-organised by AIDA and the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon, the 2019 Competition will be dedicated to organ playing. The Olivier Messiaen Competition is open to organists of any nationality born after 1 January 1979. With Claude Samuel appointed Competition President, it will take place in Lyon from 17 to 22 June 2019.

Article 2 – Competition format

The Competition comprises four rounds: a preliminary elimination round (recorded) and three public rounds in Lyon.
The quarter-final round will take place on Monday 17 June 2019 at Eglise Saint-Pothin (in Lyon’s 6th arrondissement).
The semi-final round will take place on Thursday 20 June 2019 at the Auditorium de Lyon.
The final round will take place on Saturday 22 June 2019 at the Auditorium de Lyon.

Article 3 – Draws

At the quarter-finals and semi-finals, the playing order for competing performers will be decided by the drawing of lots. A second draw will determine the playing order in the final.

Article 4 – Programme

The detailed programme of the rounds will be posted on the Competition website.
Candidates can perform the pieces in the order of their choice.
Candidates must send in their repertoire to the Competition organisers by Monday 22 April 2019 at the latest.
Unedited copies of music scores must be sent in to the Competition organisers by Monday 20 May 2019 at the latest.

Article 5 – Prizes

Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize: €6,000
Second prize: €4,000
Third prize: €2,500
Fourth prize: €2,500
Prize for the best performance of a work by Olivier Messiaen: €2,000
Prize for the best performance of a new work: €2,000
Public prize: €1,000

The Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize cannot be shared. The second prize can only be shared in the event the Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize is not awarded.

The winner of the Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize will also be given a recital engagement at the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon concert hall and three recital engagements in the Les Allées Chantent season organised for the Isère region.

Article 6 – Jury

The jury is made up of international figures from the classic music world. Its members will deliberate at the end of each round. In the event of a tie, the President will have the deciding vote.
The jury reserves the right to interrupt a performance.
The jury reserves the right not to award all prizes.
There is no right of appeal to the jury’s decision.

Article 7 – Application submissions

Application forms will be available to download from the Competition website on 15 October 2018. Application forms duly filled out and signed must be emailed to the organisers no later than Sunday 15 December 2018 with the following documents attached:
– CV in English or French detailing music schools attended, main teachers, awards obtained, and current professional status,
– Statement in English or French (no more than 250 words),
– Photocopy of identity card, passport or other equivalent official document,
– Photocopy of music qualifications,
– A recent photograph with last name and first name included in the file name,
– Entry fee or proof of payment (see article 9).
– A recording of the pieces included in the preliminary round repertoire (see article 8).

Article 8 – Preliminary round

From the preliminary recorded round, 10 candidates will be selected to perform in the competition rounds in Lyon.
Works entered into the preliminary round can be performed in the three public rounds. They must be submitted with the application as mp3, wav or aiff files. Recordings must not be cut or edited.
The names of the 10 selected entrants in the competition will be listed on the competition website on 14 January 2019.
Each chosen candidate will also receive the decision personally by email.

Article 9 – Entry fee

The entry fee is €50. Candidates must pay the entry fee net of any additional costs at registration. Fees received by the Competition organisers cannot be refunded.
Payment methods will be explained on the application form.

Article 10 – Visa
Any candidate who requires a visa to participate in the competition must take personal responsibility to apply for one. If a candidate is required to present a letter of invitation to obtain a visa, please request this from the Competition organisers.

Article 11 – Recording of public performances publiques

Candidates waive the right to any remuneration from any recording or radio, television or web broadcast (streamed live or made available later) of performances (either in part or in full) in the competition rounds or in the final concert.

Article 12 – Assistants

Competitors are entitled to have an assistant of their choice at the console. In this case, they are responsible for covering all related travel and accommodation expenses. If a candidate has not appointed their own assistant, they can use assistants provided by the Competition. Requests for an assistant must be submitted to the Competition organisers by Monday 22 April 2019 at the latest.

Article 13

By signing the application form, candidates agree to all the terms and conditions stipulated in the Competition rules and are required to fulfil all engagements offered as part of any prize awarded. In the event of any dispute, only the French version of the Competition rules is binding.

THE ORGANS

The Cavaillé-Coll/Gonzalez/Aubertin organ, Auditorium de Lyon
Constructed for the third Paris World’s Fair in 1878 and the Palais de Trocadéro in Paris, this monumental instrument (82 stops and 6,400 pipes) was the ‘showcase’ of the most distinguished organ builder of his time, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Reassembled in the new Palais de Chaillot by Victor Gonzalez in 1939, then transferred in 1977 to the Auditorium de Lyon by his successor Georges Danion, it was restored in 2013 by Michel Gaillard (from Aubertin) to its former glory. The finest musicians have sat at the console of this prestigious organ to unveil to the public Requiems by Fauré and Duruflé and masterpieces by Guilmant, Franck, Widor, Gounod, Dupré, Saint-Saëns, Poulenc, Duruflé, Alain, Messiaen and, more recently, Édith Canat de Chizy, Thierry Escaich and Kaija Saariaho. It is the only grand organ in a concert hall in France outside Paris (Maison de la Radio et Philharmonie).
http://www.auditorium-lyon.com/Le-l...

Saint-Pothin organ
The first Saint-Pothin organ was manufactured by Daublaine & Callinet in 1846. In 1876, Joseph Merklin reclaimed the parts to build a new organ, enlarged by him in 1880 and later by Michel Merklin & Kuhn in 1910. In 1942, Ruche & Co. made a new instrument with three manuals and a pedalboard using parts from the Merklin organ. In 2004, organ manufacturer Kern built a new organ integrating parts from the existing machine. This 43-stop instrument is currently in the hands of titular organist Octavian Saunier, whose predecessors include Adrien Rougier and Loïc Mallié.
https://orgue-stpothin.com/le-grand...

Contact: concours@olivier-messiaen.eu