IAO and RCO announce organ competition semi-finalists

IAO and RCO announce organ competition semi-finalists

Five semi-finalists have been announced in the IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition 2022.

The selected semi-finalists are:
• Charlie Francis (Birmingham)
• Josua Velten (Leipzig)
• Jonas Schauer (Leipzig)
• Shanna Hart (London)
• Ashley Wagner (Birmingham)

Under the joint artistic direction of David Hill MBE and John Kitchen MBE, RCO President and IAO President respectively, the IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition is open to organists between the ages of 18 and 26 years.

The adjudicators for this year’s competition are David Hill MBE, John Kitchen MBE, and the organist and composer Naji Hakim.

The five semi-finalists have been chosen from submitted recordings, and will now perform at St Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh on Saturday 23 July during the 2022 IAO Festival. The first semi-final takes place at 16:30 and the second follows at 19:30.

Three finalists will then perform at the same location, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, on Sunday 24 July at 20:00.

IAO President John Kitchen, said: “I am really pleased that this collaboration between IAO and RCO has appealed to such a high calibre of young organ players, and I’m greatly looking forward to hearing them play in the semi-finals in Edinburgh.

“It feels particularly special as these semi-finals will take place at the IAO Festival 2022, which finally returns after two years having been postponed due to the pandemic.”

RCO President David Hill added: “It has been an honour and privilege to adjudicate the first round of this exciting competition, and I look forward to watching these talented young musicians in the semi-finals and final.

“We have already seen an extremely high standard of musicianship and I’m sure these ambitious organ players, at the early stages of their careers, will set the bar even higher in the next two rounds.”

Tickets for the semi-finals and final can be bought from Oxford Playhouse via www.ticketsoxford.com/search?query=iao%2Frco.

A full programme of festival events is available at iao.org.uk/festival-invitation/ and day and event passes can be purchased via www.ticketsoxford.com/search?query=iao%20festival

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