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Competition rules

To French


The Olivier Messiaen Competition is a contemporary piano competition established in 1967 as part of the Royan Festival and held in Paris until 2007. Bruno Messina, director of AIDA (the Isère arts distribution agency), has been entrusted with its revival. 

Article 1

Co-organised by AIDA and the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon, the 2019 Competition will be dedicated to organ playing. The Olivier Messiaen Competition is open to organists of any nationality born after 1 January 1989. With Claude Samuel appointed Competition President, it will take place in Lyon from 17 to 22 June 2019.

Article 2 – Competition format

The Competition comprises four rounds: a preliminary elimination round (recorded) and three public rounds in Lyon.
The quarter-final round will take place on Monday 17 June 2019 at Eglise Saint-Pothin (in Lyon’s 6th arrondissement).
The semi-final round will take place on Thursday 20 June 2019 at the Auditorium de Lyon.
The final round will take place on Saturday 22 June 2019 at the Auditorium de Lyon.

Article 3 – Draws

At the quarter-finals and semi-finals, the playing order for competing performers will be decided by the drawing of lots.  A second draw will determine the playing order in the final.

Article 4 – Programme

The detailed programme of the rounds will be posted on the Competition website.
Candidates can perform the pieces in the order of their choice.
Candidates must send in their repertoire to the Competition organisers by Monday 22 April 2019 at the latest.
Unedited copies of music scores must be sent in to the Competition organisers by Monday 20 May 2019 at the latest.

Article 5 – Prizes

Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize: €6,000, funded by the Fondation Olivier Messiaen, under the auspices of the Fondation de France
Second prize: €4,000, funded by Fondation Marcelle & Robert de Lacour musique et danse
Third prize: €3,000, funded by Sacem (support to creation and contemporary repertoire)
Fourth prize: €2,500, funded by the Fondation philharmonique/Cercle des mécènes de l’Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon
Prize for the best performance of a work by Olivier Messiaen: €2,000, funded by the Fondation Olivier Messiaen, under the auspices of the Fondation de France
Prize for the best performance of a new work: €2,000, funded by the Fondation Francis et Mica Salabert
Public prize: €1,000, funded by the Association pour la création et la diffusion artistique (ACDA)

The Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize cannot be shared. The second prize can only be shared in the event the Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize is not awarded.

The winner of the Olivier Messiaen Grand Prize will also be given a recital engagement at the Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon concert hall and three recital engagements in the Les Allées Chantent season organised for the Isère region.

Article 6 – Jury

The jury is made up of international figures from the classic music world. Its members will deliberate at the end of each round. In the event of a tie, the President will have the deciding vote.
The jury reserves the right to interrupt a performance.
The jury reserves the right not to award all prizes.
There is no right of appeal to the jury’s decision.

Article 7 – Application submission

Application forms will be available to download from the Competition website on 20 October 2018. Application forms duly filled out and signed must be emailed to the organisers no later than Sunday 15 December 2018 with the following documents attached:
– CV in English or French detailing music schools attended, main teachers, awards obtained, and current professional status,
– Statement in English or French (no more than 250 words),
– Photocopy of identity card, passport or other equivalent official document,
– Photocopy of music qualifications,
– A recent photograph with last name and first name included in the file name,
– Entry fee or proof of payment (see article 9).
– A recording of the pieces included in the preliminary round repertoire (see article 8).

Article 8 – Preliminary round

From the preliminary recorded round, 10 candidates will be selected to perform in the competition rounds in Lyon.
Works entered into the preliminary round can be performed in the three public rounds. They must be submitted with the application as mp3, wav or aiff files. Recordings must not be cut or edited.
The names of the 10 selected entrants in the competition will be listed on the competition website on 14 January 2019.
Each chosen candidate will also receive the decision personally by email. 

Article 9 – Entry fee

The entry fee is €50. Candidates must pay the entry fee net of any additional costs at registration. Fees received by the Competition organisers cannot be refunded.
Payment methods will be explained on the application form.

Article 10 – Visas

Any candidate who requires a visa to participate in the competition must take personal responsibility to apply for one. If a candidate is required to present a letter of invitation to obtain a visa, please request this from the Competition organisers.

Article 11 – Recording of public performances

Candidates waive the right to any remuneration from any recording or radio, television or web broadcast (streamed live or made available later) of performances (either in part or in full) in the competition rounds or in the final concert.

Article 12 – Assistants

Competitors are entitled to have an assistant of their choice at the console. In this case, they are responsible for covering all related travel and accommodation expenses. If a candidate has not appointed their own assistant, they can use assistants provided by the Competition. Requests for an assistant must be submitted to the Competition organisers by Monday 22 April 2019 at the latest.

Article 13

By signing the application form, candidates agree to all the terms and conditions stipulated in the Competition rules and are required to fulfil all engagements offered as part of any prize awarded. In the event of any dispute, only the French version of the Competition rules is binding.


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.

Le jury du concours

Les orgues du concours

Le programme du concours

Les concerts ouverts au public

En partenariat avec l’Aida (Agence iséroise de diffusion artistique) et avec le soutien de la Fondation Olivier-Messiaen, abritée par la Fondation de France.

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