IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition 2022 for young organists

IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition 2022 for young organists

The IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition 2022 for young organists has been announced by the Incorporated Association of Organists (IAO) and the Royal College of Organists (RCO).

Under the joint artistic direction of David Hill and John Kitchen (RCO President Elect and IAO President, respectively), the competition is open to organists aged from 18 to 26 years.

As well as a first prize of £1,000, and second and third prizes of £500 and £200 respectively, it will also offer prize winners recital opportunities at a number of high-profile venues.

The competition finals will take place during the 2022 IAO Music Festival in Edinburgh. They will be held in St Cuthbert’s Church, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle at the west end of Princes Street, using its versatile four-manual organ. (Hope-Jones (1899); Hill, Norman & Beard (1928); and JW Walker (1957, 1998, 2002). The concept of the present organ, including its separate chancel / gallery sections and much of the pipework, dates from a major rebuild in 1998).

Six competitors will be chosen from recordings to participate in the semi-final round on Saturday 23 July. From there, three competitors will be selected to go through to the final on Sunday 24 July.

The adjudicators will be David Hill MBE, John Kitchen MBE, and the organist and composer Naji Hakim.

Competitors must be no younger than 18 and no older than 26 on 1 July 2022, and the closing date for entries is Friday 25 February 2022 at 13:00. For all details, including the application form, please visit www.rco.org.uk/events/iao-rco-competition-2022.

David Hill, who will serve as RCO President from July 2022, said: “We are delighted to be taking the IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition to Edinburgh in 2022.

“The first two editions of the competition – in Peterborough in 2018 and online in 2021 – attracted interest from brilliant young organists around the world, so we are excited to be building further on a really strong platform.”

John Kitchen added: “Competitions provide an important focus and opportunity for musicians, so I would encourage any ambitious young organist to take part in 2022. I am looking forward immensely to hearing for myself the quality and breadth of talent that comes forward.”

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