IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition 2024 for young organists

IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition 2024 for young organists

The Incorporated Association of Organists (IAO) and the Royal College of Organists (RCO) have announced details of the IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition 2024 for young organists.

The competition, which ran for the first time in 2018, is open to organists aged from 18 to 26 years. Under the joint artistic direction of Sarah MacDonald and Robert Sharpe, RCO and IAO Presidents respectively, it will be held during the 2024 IAO Music Festival in York (25-29 July).

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, including St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham and Bridlington Priory.

The competition final will take place in York Minster on the renowned Minster organ, very recently overhauled by Harrison & Harrison. Six competitors will be chosen from recordings to participate in the semi-final round. The semi-finals will be held on 26-27 July in York, at St Olave’s and Central Methodist Church. From there, three competitors will be selected to go through to the final, which will take place on Sunday 28 July.

The adjudicators will be Sarah MacDonald (RCO President from 1 July 2024, Director of Music at Selwyn College Cambridge, Director of the Girl Choristers at Ely Cathedral, Cambridge University Organist), Robert Sharpe (IAO President and Director of Music at York Minster) and Katelyn Emerson (International Concert Organist).

Competitors must be no younger than 18 and no older than 26 on 1 July 2024, and the closing date for entries is Thursday 29 February 2024 at 13:00. For all details, including the application form, please click here.

Robert Sharpe said: “We’re delighted to host the third IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition during the 2024 IAO York Festival. Competitions are an exciting testing ground for young players and I’m particularly looking forward to hearing the finalists performing in the Minster. I’m sure they’ll enjoy it!”

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