2022 Edition

Olivier Messiaen international competition

From 1 to 5 november 2022 in Lyon


Originally a contemporary piano competition, the Olivier Messiaen International Competition was established in 1967 as part of the Royan Festival and held in Paris until 2007. Bruno Messina, Director of the Public Establishment of Cultural Cooperation (EPCC) Arts en Isère Dauphiné Alpes (AIDA), revived the competition in line with the artistic policy of the Maison Messiaen, an artists’ residence in Matheysine.

The Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon was considered the ideal partner to accompany the relaunch of this international event, which in 2019 was dedicated to organ performance 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. The organ is closely linked with Olivier Messiaen’s work, as for over seventy years he was the organist at the Trinité church in Paris, playing the Cavaillé-Coll grand organ. This instrument is also an important facet of the identity of the Auditorium de Lyon, which houses a remarkable example that is unique in France.

Over the years of the Festival Berlioz held in La Côte-Saint-André, AIDA – which organises this festival, the Maison Messiaen and, since January 1st, 2022, the Festival Messiaen in Pays de la Meije – and the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon have forged a close artistic collaboration. What better venue than the Auditorium de Lyon, with its Cavaillé-Coll organ, to host organists from all over the world? Set 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, including Les Corps Glorieux by Messiaen, performed by the composer himself on April 15, 1945. Restored to its original splendour in 2013 (by Michel Gaillard at Aubertin), it is the only concert hall grand organ in France outside Paris.

With new artistic dynamism and a new rhythm, the competition is now held every year to maximise its national and international impact. Starting in 2022, an edition devoted to the organ (in partnership with the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon) alternates with an edition dedicated to the piano, the competition’s original instrument (in partnership with the MC2 in Grenoble).

The Olivier Messiaen International Competition is sponsored by the EPCC Arts en Isère Dauphiné Alpes (AIDA), and organised in partnership with the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon, with the support of the Fondation Olivier Messiaen under the patronage of the Fondation de France.

Contact : concours@olivier-messiaen.eu


For 2022, AIDA is working with the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon to organise a competition of organ performance.

The competition places particular emphasis on original composition, as candidates will be required to perform a new work commissioned from the composer in the final round.

As well as Messiaen’s works, the competition is open to other repertoires to establish a week of competition at the highest level, widely accessible to music lovers and anyone who is curious to find out more about this instrument-orchestra at the level of performance you expect from an international contest, with a jury of international figures specialising in Messiaen and the organ.

The Olivier Messiaen International Organ Competition is open to organists under the age of 30 from all over the world.
It will involve four rounds, three of them in public, taking place in Lyon from 1 to 5 November 2022. The prizes consist of financial awards and invitations to perform in the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon season and AIDA programme.

As a counterpoint to the competition, a concert will be given in the Auditorium de Lyon the evening before the final, on Friday 4 November at 8 pm, by members of the jury.


For organists under the age of 30 from all over the world.
Applications open until May 15, 2022

Contact : concours@olivier-messiaen.eu

Épreuves publiques

Concert du Jury


Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon

04 78 95 95 95
149 rue Garibaldi
69003 Lyon

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