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Olivier-Messiaen Competition

To French

17-23 June 2019

Competition President: Claude Samuel
Jury President: Olivier Latry

Deadline for applications: Sunday, December 15 2018

The Olivier Messiaen Competition is a contemporary piano competition established in 1967 as part of the Royan Festival and held in Paris until 2007. The baton has been passed to Bruno Messina, Director of AIDA (Isère’s arts distribution agency) to revive the competition in line with the artistic policy of the Maison Messiaen, a musicians’ residence in Matheysine, in south Isère.

The Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon was considered the ideal partner to accompany the relaunch of this international event which in 2019 will be dedicated to organ interpretation and presided over by Claude Samuel, founder of the Olivier Messiaen Competition, former head of music at Radio France, and author of several books of interviews with the composer. Indeed, the organ is closely associated with the work of Olivier Messiaen, organist for over 70 years of the Cavaillé-Coll grand organ at La Trinité Church in Paris. This particular instrument is also an important facet of the identity of the Auditorium de Lyon which houses a remarkable example that is unique in France.

Through the Festival Berlioz held in La Côte-Saint-André, AIDA—which produces this festival and heads up the Maison Messiaen—and the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon have forged a closely collaborative artistic relationship. What better venue than the Auditorium de Lyon and its Cavaillé-Coll organ to host organists from all over the world? Installed in the Auditorium de Lyon in 1977, this 82-stop organ was originally built in 1878 for the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris before being modernised and transferred to the Palais de Chaillot. The world premieres of many works have been performed on the organ, most notably Les Corps Glorieux by Messiaen, performed by the composer himself on 15 April 1945. Restored to its original splendour in 2013 (by Michel Gaillard, Manufacture Aubertin), it is the only grand organ in France outside Paris.

The 2019 competition will give particular onus to original composition as candidates will be required to perform a new piece in the final round. This piece was commissioned from Philippe Hersant, who will also have a seat on the jury alongside a number of other international figures, all experts in the organ and Messaien.

For the relaunch in Lyon in June 2019, the competition will extend beyond Messiaen to establish a week of competition at the highest level, widely accessible to anyone who is curious to find out more about this orchestral instrument and the level of performance you expect from an international contest. The competition will be an integral part of a two-week programme honouring the instrument to create moments for families to share, celebratory concerts and recitals of the highest calibre. 

The Olivier Messiaen International Organ Competition is open to organists up to the age of 30 from all over the world. It will take place in four rounds including three public rounds to be held in Lyon, from 17 to 22 June 2019. Prizes comprise financial awards and invitations to perform in the Auditorium’s season and the AIDA programme.

Contact :

Le Concours international Olivier-Messiaen est organisé par l’Agence iséroise de diffusion artistique (AIDA) et l’Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon, avec le soutien de la Fondation de France, de la Fondation Marcelle et Robert de Lacour musique et danse, de la Sacem, de la Fondation philharmonique/Cercle des mécènes de l’Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon, de la Fondation Francis et Mica Salabert et de l’Association pour la création et la diffusion artistique (ACDA).

Détails de l'orgue de l'Auditorium ©
© Julien Mignot

Registration form

English registration form below. Registration form
Détails de l'orgue de l'Auditorium ©
© Julien Mignot

The jury

To FrenchOlivier Latry (France), Jury PresidentConcert organist, professor of organ at...
Détails de l'Orgue Cavaillé-Coll/Gonzalez/Aubertin de l’Auditorium de Lyon ©
© Julien Mignot

The organs

To FrenchThe Cavaillé-Coll/Gonzalez/Aubertin Organ, Auditorium de Lyon ...
Détails de l'orgue de l'Auditorium ©
© Julien Mignot

Competition programme

To FrenchPRELIMINARY ROUND (RECORDING) Length: 15-20 minutes per candidate.The...
Détails de l'orgue de l'Auditorium ©
© Julien Mignot

Competition rules

To FrenchIntroductionThe Olivier Messiaen Competition is a contemporary piano...
Détails de l'orgue de l'Auditorium ©
© Julien Mignot

Les épreuves et concerts publics

Découvrez une programmation autour et au cœur du concours. Concerts ouverts au public.
Détails de l'orgue de l'Auditorium ©
© Julien Mignot

The selected candidates

To FrenchSeventeen organists applied for the International Organ Interpretation Competition as...

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