11th edition
International Competition for Organ of Saint-Maurice d’Agaune

The competition is being prepared

Playoff on video:

Free program of 15 min maximum including the Choral Schübler K ommst du nun BWV 650 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

1st round: Tuesday August 10, 2021 (9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.) at the Saint-Sigismond church in Saint-Maurice

  • Johann Sebastian Bach:  a  Grand Pélude and Fugue  among BWV 532, 543, 544, 548, 550.
  • John Alain:  a  Fancy  choose from the two patterns JA 72 or JA 117.

2nd round: Friday August 13 (7 p.m.) at the Saint-François church in Lausanne

  • Between 8 and 12 minutes music of your choice on one of the choir organs (also your choice).

Details of the choir organs: www.sainf.ch/organopole/

  • Charles-Marie Widor: Cantilene and Final from the “Roman Symphony” op. 73.

Final: Sunday August 15 (3 p.m.) at the Basilica of Saint-Maurice

On the choir organ:

  • Georg Friedrich Handel: a concerto in opus 4, N.2 in B flat M HWV 290   or N.5 in F M HWV 293 or N.6 in Bb M HWV 294. With a string quartet from the Symphonists of Octodure (Justin Lamy, vl1 / Nadia Rigolet, vl2 / Elise Lehec, vla / Jordan Gregoris, vcl)
  • Johann Sebastian Bach:  a  choir among  Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr’  BWV 663,  Vater unser im Himmelreich  BWV 682,  Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam  BWV 684.

At the Grand organ:

  • Franz Liszt:  Prelude and Fugue on BACH.
  • Guy Ropartz:  Funeral Prelude.
  • Thierry Escaich:  Towards hope  excerpt from “Three Poems“

Wednesday August 11, 2021 (8:30 p.m.) at the Basilica of Saint-Maurice: Exceptional concert by Benoît Mernier

Concert-presentation around the idea of transmission through the centuries. Free admission, like all the events of the Competition.


  1. The Competition is open to young organists of all nationalities, age limit: 35 years (1986).
  2. All proofs are public. The competition takes place on the basis of anonymity, the jury not seeing the candidates.
  3. The video-based qualifier will be analyzed by three members of the jury. Listening to candidates will be systematically interrupted after the maximum 15 minutes. Playoff pieces can be recorded on different organs at different times. However, for each work, the recording must be made in a single take, without cutting or editing, as during a concert in front of an audience.
  4. By participating in the Competition, candidates give their authorization to be filmed (audio and video) and photographed during the Competition rounds, the concerts given by the 1 er Prizes and Award Ceremony. They agree that the images made by the photographers of the Contest may also be used by third parties.

    Candidates give free of charge to the Georges Cramer Foundation, which sponsors the Competition:

    1. the right to record, archive, reproduce, reproduce and distribute their performances at the Competition and at the concerts, including images on disc or any other medium existing for the moment or in the future, and this included in digital format, as well as,
    2. the right to communicate and broadcast their services to the public by any television or radio means, including by internet, cable, terrestrial or other broadcasting, live or pre-recorded, linear or on demand, with or without free download or paid, in Switzerland and abroad.
  5. The purpose of the transfer mentioned in paragraph 4) above is all the performances performed during the Competition and the concerts given by the winner of the 1st Prize, and the Prize-giving ceremony. It is granted for the entire duration of the protection of the rights in question according to the laws in force today and in the future.
  6. In addition to the duly completed registration form, candidates will send:
    1. a resume ;
    2. a photograph (portrait);
    3. a copy of the passport or identity card;
    4. a copy of an organ diploma (Bachelor, Master…).
  7. A non-refundable registration fee of CHF 100 must be paid before May 15, 2021 on the Banque Cantonale du Valais account, Av. de la Gare 20, CH-1920 Martigny.
    1. Holder: Georges Cramer Foundation
    2. Account number: 103.338.72.00
    3. IBAN: CH65 0076 5001 0333 8720 0

    Registration will only be final after receipt of the transfer.

  8. In the final: the Handel concerto chosen by the candidate will be played on the choir organ of the basilica, accompanied by a string quartet without a leader. During the rehearsal, the organist will see himself alone with the quartet and will offer his interpretation, his tempos, phrasing, articulations, ornamentations …

    The quartet will play on the edition: TO BE SPECIFIED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
  9. The management of the combiner is the responsibility of the candidates during the tests. A page turner will be made available during the tests.
  10. The title “winner of the international organ competition of Saint-Maurice 2021” may be used by the three finalists.
  11. The winner of the First Prize will benefit from being able to give concerts at the Abbey of Saint-Maurice, at the Saint-Nicolas cathedral in Friborg, at the collegiate church of Neuchâtel, at the Saint-François church in Lausanne.
  12. Any decision of the jury is final and will not be appealed against.

The organs

St. Francis Church, Lausanne

Scherrer organ, 1777 – Walker, 1867 – Kuhn, 1995
5 keyboards, mechanical traction
Orgeldetails – Orgelbau Kuhn AG

Felsberg organ / Tricoteaux, 1991
The Spanish organ – Saint François Church (sainf.ch)

Formentelli organ, 1990
The Italian organ – Saint François Church (sainf.ch)

Saint-Sigismond Church, Saint-Maurice

Kuhn organ, 2001
2 keyboards, 27 games, mechanical traction
Orgeldetails – Orgelbau Kuhn AG

Basilica of the ‘Abbey, Saint-Maurice

Kuhn organ, 1950
3 keyboards, 72 games, mechanical traction with Barker machines
Orgeldetails – Orgelbau Kuhn AG

Kuhn choir organ, 1985
2 mechanical keyboards, 13 games, mechanical traction
Orgeldetails – Orgelbau Kuhn AG

Working organs may be used during the competition, according to an established schedule.

The prices

  • The First Prize of 10,000 francs Swiss is the price of the State of Valais, granted by the Council of Culture.
  • The Second Prize of 6,000 Swiss francs is the prize of the City of Saint-Maurice d’Agaune.
  • The Third Prize of 4,000 Swiss francs is offered by the Support Committee for the project “Creation of a Center of Musical Excellence for Organ” at the Abbey of Saint-Maurice.

Concerts for the First Prize

  • Saint-Maurice, Basilica: September 19, 2021
  • Lausanne, Church of St. Francis
  • Fribourg, Saint-Nicolas Cathedral
  • Neuchâtel, Collegiate Church
  • Sant’Elpidio a Mare (Italy): Concert-Prize in honor of the memory of Maestro Luigi Celeghin, founder and artistic director of the International Organ Festival of Sant’Elpidio


Jean Marc Luisada

France – President of the Jury

Professor at the Ecole Normale in Paris



Lionel avot


Musical advisor for the organ of Radio France



Thomas kientz


Holder of the organ of the Basilica of Saint-Maurice



Véronique Le Guen


Holder of the organ of Saint-Severin in Paris, Deputy Director of the Academy of Music of Sainte-Anne d’Auray



Marie-Ange Leurent


Holder of the organ of Notre-Dame de Lorette, Professor at the Conservatory of Clichy and Saint-Mandé



Benoit Mernier


Professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Member of the Royal Academy of Belgium



Ja Kyung Oh

South Korea

Professor at Seoul National University of the Arts



The jury makes its decisions blind (without knowing the names of the candidates). The jury’s decisions are final.

Travel and accommodation costs

The travel costs are the responsibility of the candidates. The Competition can provide a room at the inhabitant free of charge. Applicants may also stay at the hotel, but at their own expense. The costs of meals and drinks are the responsibility of the candidates.

Registration deadline

May 15, 2021

The results of the preselection test will be communicated to candidates at the end of June 2021.

Registration for the organ competition