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The Westfield Organ Competition, September 22-29, 2013


The Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies at Cornell University

announces its Third Annual

International Keyboard Competition and Academy

 2013: Organ

The Westfield Organ Competition will be held on the Cornell University Campus, Ithaca, NY, and in Rochester, NY September 22-29, 2013 in collaboration with Cornell University, the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman-Rochester Organ Initiative.

Competition Theme: “Cosmopolitan Encounters”

The competition invites participants to reimagine the historic encounters between great keyboard players of the past, staged as contests, duels or moments of inspiration: these include the meeting of Froberger and Weckmann in Dresden in the middle of the 17th century; the gathering of the Bach sons and their father at the royal Prussian court in Potsdam in 1747; the encounter of W. A. Mozart with the virtuoso J. W. Haessler in 1789. How did travelling virtuoso organists handle the instruments they met, and how did they adapt their music and its national styles to instruments that may have been foreign to them? 

This competition offers candidates the chance to imagine some of those encounters as they play repertoire on three outstanding instruments: the Craighead-Saunders organ at Christ Church, Rochester, modelled on the 1776 Adam Gottlob Casparini organ in Vilnius, Lithuania; the original 18th-century Italian organ in the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester; and the organ at Cornell University, based on the 1706 Arp Schnitger organ at Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin. [See Specifications] Much of the competition repertoire has been chosen for its suitability to these three organs, but some music has been deliberately selected in order to encourage adaptability and an extension of the historical imagination of performers. In the last round in particular, candidates are asked to select and perform 19th- and 20th-century repertoire, imagining how 19th- and 20th-century composers may have approached old organs in a new age.

Cosmopolitan encounters mark our own times as thoroughly as they did the past. Judging the competition will be an international jury from both sides of the Atlantic which will award prizes that include not only cash awards but also important and visible concert engagements. An Academy taking place alongside the competition will be taught by one of the most important teachers and players from America today, as well as several members of the competition jury.

General Information on the Competition

Open to musicians of all nationalities born after September 1, 1976.

The repertoire will comprise works spanning a wide chronological period, from the early 17th century to the present, but will be performed on specific, historically-informed organs. Sufficient practice time will be made available on each of the competition instruments.

Audition of the assigned [repertoire] will be on DVD; deadline for submission is May 1, 2013. 

There will be 12 candidates admitted.

6 candidates will advance to the second round, 3 to the final round. The prizewinners will give a recital on the evening following the final.

The order of the candidates in all rounds will be alphabetical, the beginning letter to be chosen randomly.

All rounds are open to the public.


The Competition Jury

Bernard Foccroulle (Belgium)

Jon Laukvik (Norway) 

Kimberly Marshall (USA) 

Jacques van Oortmerssen (The Netherlands) 

David Yearsley (USA)


The Prizes

First Prize: $10,000
Second Prize: $5,000
Third Prize: $2,500

In addition to these monetary prizes, solo concerts will be offered in several venues on landmark organs nationally and internationally.

Click here for Schedule

Click here for Repertoire List

Organs | Juror Bios | Repertoire | Academy | Academy Instructors | Competitors | Rules | Prize Winners