Applications Now Open for Longwood Gardens 2019 International Organ Competition

The Longwood Organ is among the world’s largest concert organs, with 146 ranks and 10,010 pipes. After a seven-year restoration completed in 2011, the organ is restored to its original 1930 condition as well as incorporating innovative technology.   
Organists Compete for a $40,000 First Place Prize June 18-22, 2019
Longwood Gardens has announced that applications are now being accepted for its 2019 International Organ Competition, where-up-and-coming organists will compete on The Longwood Organ (pictured above) for a $40,000 first place prize, the largest cash prize of any organ competition in the world. 

Preliminary and final rounds will take place June 18-22, 2019 in their magnificent Ballroom.

Applications are available at Longwood Organ Competition Rules & Information and the competion is open to ages 18-30 years old. Only the first 60 applicants will be accepted. The application deadline is November 5, 2018.

A distinguished panel of experts will judge the competition including Peter Richard Conte, Grand Court Organist of the renowned Wanamaker Organ and Principal Organist at Longwood Gardens; Dr. Marnie Giesbrecht, Professor Emerita and University Organist at the University of Alberta and Adjunct Professor of Music at The King’s University, Edmonton as well as a an organ soloist and performer with Joachim Segger as Duo Majoya; Maggie Hamilton, Editor of Choir & Organ magazine and organist, choir director, and founder-director of Counterpoint, a world music partner project of Christian Aid; Thomas Heywood, the only professional concert organist in Australian history, and one of the world’s finest concert organists; Rossen Milanov, Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain; Alan Morrison, Head of the Organ Department at the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music; and Todd Wilson, Head of the Organ Department at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall in Cleveland, OH. The Master of Ceremonies will be Haig Mardirosian, Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Letters, and Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Tampa.
The Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition winner receives the $40,000 Pierre S. du Pont First Prize, a contract with Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, and a 2019-20 performance at Longwood. Second place receives the Firmin Swinnen $15,000 prize and third place receives the Clarence Snyder $5,000 prize. In addition, the competition offers the Audience Choice Prize of $1,000 and new this year is The AGO Philadelphia Chapter Prize of $1,000 recognizing outstanding performance of the judges’ choice piece. All travel and accommodations for competitors is provided by Longwood Gardens. Longwood Gardens is a member of the World Federation of Music Competitions.

Past competition winners include Benjamin Sheen, a UK native and Juilliard graduate who in addition to performing around the world, is currently Associate Organist at Saint Thomas Church in New York City. The 2016 winner, Joshua Stafford, is a Curtis Institute of Music and Yale School of Music alumnus and in addition to his active concert career, is Director of Music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, New Jersey.

Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great gardens, encompassing 1,083 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and a 4-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by founder Pierre S. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the arts.
Longwood Gardens Website

Contact: Patricia Evans

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