For 2022, the EPCC AIDA is once again partnering with the Auditorium de Lyon to organise an organ performance competition.
The competition places particular emphasis on original composition, as candidates will be required to perform a new work commissioned from François Meïmoun in the final round.
As well as Messiaen’s works, the competition is open to other repertoires to establish a week of competition at the highest level, widely accessible to music lovers and anyone who is curious to find out more about this instrument-orchestra at the level of performance you expect from an international contest.
The Olivier Messiaen International Organ Competition is open to organists under the age of 30 from all over the world. It will involve four rounds, three of them in public, taking place in Lyon from November 1 to 5, 2022. The prizes consist of financial awards and invitations to perform in the Auditorium de Lyon season and the EPCC AIDA programme.
As a counterpoint to the competition, a concert will be given in the Auditorium de Lyon the evening before the final, on Friday November 4 at 8 p.m. by the jury members.
The Olivier Messiaen International Competition is sponsored by the EPCC Arts en Isère Dauphiné Alpes (AIDA), and organised in partnership with the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon, with the support of the Fondation Olivier Messiaen under the patronage of the Fondation de France.
Application deadline: May 15, 2022
Results: June 15, 2022
Quarter-Finals: Tuesday 1 November 2022 from 10 am to 1 pm – Auditorium de Lyon
Semi-Finals: Thursday 3 November 2022 from 10 am to 2.30 pm – Auditorium de Lyon
Final: Saturday 5 November 2022 from 3 pm – Auditorium de Lyon
Benoît Mernier (Belgium)
president of the jury
Professor of organ at the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels, organist at the city’s Église du Sablon and organ curator for the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (Bozar), Benoît Mernier is also a composer. His works include an opera, Frühlings Erwachen, premiered at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels) and revived at the Opéra du Rhin (Strasbourg and Mulhouse).
Loreto Aramendi (Spain)
Organist on the Cavaillé-Coll grand organ (1863) at the Santa Maria del Coro basilica in San Sebastián, Spain, Loreto Aramendi currently teaches at the Francisco Escudero Conservatoire in San Sebastián.
Bernhard Haas (Germany)
Professor of organ at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, following similar posts in Saarbrücken and Stuttgart, Bernhard Haas is a specialist in contemporary music and has published theoretical works on Bach’s Two-Part Inventions and Die neue Tonalität von Schubert bis Webern.
Nathan Laube (USA)
Former organ professor at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester (New York, USA), Nathan Laube is now the organ professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart. He also works at the Birmingham Royal Conservatoire as the International Consultant in Organ Studies.
Loïc Mallié (France)
A former student of Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire de Paris, Loïc Mallié followed him at the organ console at the Trinité in Paris, where is he now honorary organist. Also a composer and improviser, he has taught at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Lyon and at Musikene in San Sebastián (Spain).
Pascale Rouet (France)
Organ professor at the Conservatoire Ardenne-Métropole in Charleville-Mézières, Pascale Rouet is also the editor of the French-language journal Orgues nouvelles. She contributed to the contemporary music section in the new edition of the Guide de la musique d’orgue (Fayard, 2012).
Alain Louvier (France)
Composer, former student of Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire de Paris, pensioner of the Académie de France in Rome and winner of several prizes, Alain Louvier also has an eminent career as a conservatoire director (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris from 1986 to 1991 and Boulogne-Billancourt from 2009 to 2013) and teacher, particularly in musical analysis at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris from 1991 to 2009.
Gaëtan Puaud (France)
Professor of economics, Gaëtan Puaud is a passionate defender of the music of our time. Founder and director during 20 years of the Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije dedicated to Olivier Messiaen, he has devoted retrospectives to George Benjamin, Pierre Boulez, François-Bernard Mâche, Tristan Murail, Bruno Mantovani or Iannis Xenakis. He is the author of Tristan Murail, des sons et des sentiments published in 2022 (Aedam Musicae) and of a biography of Olivier Messiaen published in 2021 (bleu nuit éditeur).
Luca Akaeda Santesson (Sweden/Japan)
Born in Milan in 2001, Luca Akaeda Santesson won the 2022 Jean-Louis Florentz international organ competition. He studied organ with Jean-François Hatton at the Conservatoire Claude-Debussy in Paris’s 17th arrondissement, and then with Yves Lafargue and Lionel Avot at the Lyon regional conservatoire (where he also studied harpsichord with Catherine Latzarus), before entering the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse in Lyon in 2019, taking classes with François Espinasse and Liesbeth Schlumberger. He is the organist at the church of Saint-Denis-et-Saint-Augustin-de-la-Croix-Rousse in Lyon.
Adam Bernadac (France)
Born in Paris in 1992, Adam Bernadac studied performance with Éric Lebrun at the regional conservatoire in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés and then with Christophe Mantoux at the Pôle Supérieur d’Enseignement Artistique de Paris-Boulogne-Billancourt, and improvisation with Paul Goussot at the Reuil-Malmaison regional conservatoire and then with Thierry Escaich and Laszló Fassang at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he won four composition prizes. He teaches composition at the regional conservatoire in Nîmes, where he is also the titular organist on the cathedral’s grand organ.
Alma Bettencourt (France)
Born in France in 2004, Alma Bettencourt combines her studies of piano and organ. She studied organ with Éric Lebrun at the Saint-Maur-des-Fossés regional conservatoire, graduating with a degree in musical studies, and piano in the class of Romano Pallottin. In 2020–2021, she joined Olivier Latry and Thomas Ospital’s class at the Conservatoire de Paris. In 2021, she contributed to the recording of Olivier Messiaen’s complete organ works at the cathedral in Toul, and performed at the Saint-Sulpice composition competition in Paris.
Louyse Gris (France)
Born in France in 1996, Louyse Gris studied piano with Catherine Gouget and organ with Michel Bourcier at the Nantes regional conservatoire before graduating with a degree in mathematics from the Université Pierre-et-Marie Curie in Paris in 2017. She chose a musical career and entered the Saint-Maur-des-Fossés regional conservatoire to study piano with Christine Fonlupt and organ with Éric Lebrun. In 2019, she won a harmony prize at the Conservatoire de Paris in Fabien Waksman’s class. Since September 2020, she has been taking her studies further at the Lyon national conservatoire in the organ class taught by François Espinasse and Liesbeth Schlumberger.
Kasumi Hamano (Japan)
Born in 1996 in Osaka (Japan), Kasumi Hamano graduated with a degree in business administration from Kwansei Gakuin University while taking private organ lessons with Akiko Sakakura. He then developed his organ studies in Pieter van Dijk’s class at the Conservatorium in Amsterdam. In 2021, he won second prize and the public prize at the Jean-Louis-Florentz international competition at the church of Saint-Eustache in Paris. He is the organist and pianist at the Mennonite church (Doopsgezinde Vermaning) in Zaandam (Netherlands) and performs in the Netherlands and France.
Marcin Knura (Poland)
Born in 1998 in Racibórz (Poland), Marcin Knura began his musical education in his home city and then in Rybnik before entering the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in the organ class of Jarosław Wróblewski and Wojciech Bednarski. At the same time, he also studied in the law and administration faculty at the University of Warsaw. He was a semi-finalist in the Sweelinck International Organ Competition in Gdańsk in 2018 and has qualified twice for the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition (2016 and 2018). He has attended masterclasses by Thierry Escaich, David Titterington, Józef Serafin, Julian Gembalski, Hans Fagius, Bernhard Haas, Gerhard Gnann, Johannes Geffert, Wolfgang Seifen and Sylvain Pluyaut.
Giulio Lucciola (Italy)
Born in Rome in 1998, Giulio Lucciola studied organ in his home city at the Liceo Musicale Farnesina (2012–2017) with Luca Purchiaroni and Vincenzo Zito, took private lessons with Alessandro Dolci and studied at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia with Alessandro Licata and Alberto Pavoni. He is currently studying for a master’s with Stefano Molardi at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano (Switzerland). He has attended masterclasses with Jean Guillou, Jean-Baptiste Monnot, Olivier Penin, David Briggs, Daniel Cook, Ralph Gustafsson, Ludger Lohmann, Stefano Molardi and Lorenzo Ghielmi. He has a career as a liturgical organist and a concert performer and is passionate about organ building.
Joffrey Mialon (France)
Born in France in 1997, Joffrey Mialon studied organ at the Grenoble regional conservatoire with Denis Bordage and then at the Institut Supérieur des Arts in Toulouse with Willem Jansen, before entering the Lyon national conservatoire in the class of François Espinasse and Liesbeth Schlumberger. He graduated in musicology from the Université Grenoble-Alpes, and has also studied piano and piano accompaniment.
Lukas Nagel (Germany)
Born in 1995 in Offenbach-am-Main (Germany), Lukas Nagel studied liturgical music and organ, first at the Hochschule für Musik in Mainz and then at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart in Helmut Deutsch’s organ class. In February 2021, he graduated with a master’s in liturgical music with top grades and with distinction in organ literature performance. As well as his regular organ performances, he gives concerts as a chamber musician, continuo player, choir leader and orchestral conductor. He taught organ literature at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart in the 2021/2022 winter semester, replacing Helmut Deutsch. He is currently the organist at the Christuskirche in Stuttgart.
Pierre-François Purson (France)
Born in France in 1996, Pierre-François Purson studied music from 2011 to 2021 at the regional conservatoire in Caen, taking piano with Julien Le Prado and organ with Erwan Le Prado. He took a double degree programme at the Université de Rouen and the Caen conservatoire in piano and organ performance between 2018 and 2021. He has won second prize at the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition and the Kurt Bossler International Organ Competition in Freiburg and has just started a master’s at the Lyon national conservatoire in the organ class of François Espinasse and Liesbeth Schlumberger.
Length: 15–20 minutes per candidate
1 – A piece by Johann Sebastian Bach
To be chosen from the following:
Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541
Fugue in G minor, BWV 542
Fugue in A minor, BWV 543
Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 550
Fugue in C major, BWV 564
2 – A piece by Olivier Messiaen
To be chosen from the following:
Alléluias sereins d’une âme qui désire le Ciel (from L’Ascension)
Le Vent de l’Esprit (Sortie from the Messe de la Pentecôte)
3 – A freely chosen piece from the repertoire from 1830 to 1945
The first round may be recorded on several organs. Each piece must be recorded without editing.
The recordings entered into the preliminary round may include works performed in the three public rounds.
Tuesday 1 November 2022 from 10 am to 1 pm – Auditorium de Lyon
Length: 15–20 minutes per candidate
1 – 2nd and 3rd movements of a trio sonata by Johann Sebastian Bach
To be chosen from the Trio Sonatas BWV 525 to 530.
Movements must be played without repeats.
2 – A compulsory piece by Olivier Messiaen
Joie et Clarté des corps glorieux (from Les Corps glorieux)
3 – A piece chosen by the candidate, excluding Johann Sebastian Bach and Olivier Messiaen
Thursday 3 November 2022 from 10 am to 2.30 pm – Auditorium de Lyon
Length: 20–25 minutes per candidate
1 – A Chorale Prelude by Johannes Brahms
To be chosen from Opus 122.
To be chosen from Opuses 51, 53, 54 and 55.
4 – A post-1945 piece, excluding Olivier Messiaen
Saturday 5 November 2022 from 3 pm – Auditorium de Lyon
Length: 40–45 minutes per candidate
1 – A compulsory piece composed by François Meïmoun, commissioned by the Olivier Messiaen Competition.
The score will be available on July 1st. The commissioned work will be around seven minutes in length.
This programme may consist of one or several pieces.
The freely chosen pieces may be whole pieces or one or more isolated movements from a work or a collection.
In the semi-final and the final, the jury will pay particular attention to the balance of the chosen programme.
The final must not contain any of the pieces performed in the preliminary, quarter-final or semi-final rounds.
Originally a contemporary piano competition, the Olivier Messiaen International Competition was established in 1967 as part of the Royan Festival and held in Paris until 2007. In 2019, Bruno Messina, director of the EPCC AIDA, was entrusted with its revival. Co-organised by the Public Establishment of Cultural Cooperation (EPCC) Arts en Isère Dauphiné Alpes (AIDA) and the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon, the 2022 competition will be dedicated to the organ.
The Olivier Messiaen International Competition is open to organists of any nationality born after January 1st, 1992. It will take place in Lyon from 1 to 5 November 2022 under the presidency of Benoît Mernier.
Article 2 – Format
The Competition comprises four rounds: a preliminary elimination round based on recordings and three public rounds in Lyon.
Recordings for the preliminary round must be submitted by 15 May 2022.
The quarter-final round will take place at the Auditorium de Lyon on Tuesday 1 November 2022.
The semi-final round will take place at the Auditorium de Lyon on Thursday 3 November 2022.
The final round will take place at the Auditorium de Lyon on Saturday 5 November 2022.
Article 3 – Draws
At the quarter-finals and semi-finals, the playing order for competing performers will be decided by drawing lots. A second draw will determine the playing order for 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 submit their programme to the Competition organisers by 1 September at the latest.
Copies of the scores for unpublished works must be submitted to the Competition organisers by
1 October at the latest.
Article 5 – Prizes
Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize: €6000
Second prize: €4000
Third prize: €3000
Fourth prize: €2500
Prize for the best performance of the works by Olivier Messiaen: €2000
Prize for the best performance of the new work: €3000
Public prize: €1000
The Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize cannot be shared. The second prize can only be shared if the Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize is not awarded.
The winner of the Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize will be given engagements by the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon and AIDA.
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 can be downloaded from the Competition website (www.maisonmessiaen.com). They must be duly completed, signed and emailed (email@example.com) to the Competition organisers no later than May 15, 2022 with the following documents attached:
– CV in English or French detailing music schools attended, main teachers, awards obtained and current professional status.
– Photocopy of an identity card, passport or other equivalent official document.
– 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.
Recordings 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. Deadline for submission: May 15, 2022, with the application form.
The names of the 10 selected entrants in the competition will be listed on the competition website on June 15, 2022.
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 – Visas
Any candidate who requires a visa to participate in the competition must take personal responsibility for applying 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
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 September 1st, 2022 at the latest.
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 CAVAILLÉ-COLL/GONZALEZ/AUBERTIN ORGAN, AUDITORIUM DE LYON
Constructed for the Paris World’s Fair in 1878 and the Palais du 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 the Requiem 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).
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Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon ©Bertrand Gaudillère