Participants Improvisation Competition 2021

Three participants selected

Although the Organ Festival with the Summer Academy and the Improvisation Competition has been postponed to the Summer of 2021 due to the corona crisis, the preselection round for the 53rd edition of the Improvisation Competition has taken place. The organization received 17 recordings from Italy, the US, Australia, France, Germany, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands. All organists were asked to play five short improvisations on thematic material, including drawings by Jehan Alain, a textual theme and newly composed themes by Jürgen Essl and Jeremy Joseph. Take a look here for the assignments.

The selection committee, which consisted of Jan Hage (organist Domkerk Utrecht), Ansgar Wallenhorst (program leader Orgelwelten Ratingen) and Geerten Liefting (winner of the International Organ Improvisation Competition Haarlem in 2016) anonymously listened to the recordings online and after extensive deliberation concluded that three entries in their entirety had the required level to be admitted to the Haarlem Competition. The board of the International Organ Festival Haarlem has taken over the findings of the preselection jury, and hereby announces that the first three selected candidates for the improvisation competition are Sebastian Benetello (D), Marcel Eliasch (D) and Cyril Julien (CH).

Extra preliminary round 2021

Given the fact that the Organ Festival has been postponed to the summer of 2021, it has been decided to launch another preselection round in the spring of 2021 in order to select the other four participants. New assignments for this round will be published on January 1, 2021 on the website. The deadline for submitting recordings is February 15, 2021. In total, seven organists are selected on the basis of recordings; the eighth participant will be the winner of the competition to be held during the Bach Festival Dordrecht in June 2021.