10th International Organ Competition
Saint-Maurice d'Agaune : 2021

Selection through video program:

Free program of 15 minutes maximum including the Choral Schübler kommst-du nun BWV 650 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

1st round: Tuesday, August 10th (9PM/12PM – 2AM/5:30AM) at the Church of St. Sigismund in Saint-Maurice:

  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Grand Prelude and Fugue selected from either BWV 532, 543, 544, 548, 550.

  • Jehan Alain : one Fantasy of your choice between the two Fantasies JA 72 or JA 117.

2nd round: Friday, August 13th (7AM) at the church of St. Francis (Saint-François) in Lausanne:

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

Details of the chancel organs can be found here: www.sainf.ch/organopole/

  • Charles-Marie Widor: Cantilena and Finale of the “Symphonie Romane” op. 73.

Finale: Sunday, August 15th (3PM) at the Basilica ofof Saint-Maurice:

On the Chancel Organ:

  • Georg Friedrich Händel: one concerto in Opus 4, N.2 in Bb M HWV 290 or N.5 in F M HWV 293 or N.6 in Bb M HWV 294. With players from Symphonistes d’Octodure (Justin Lamy, vl1 / Nadia Rigolet, vl2 / Elise Lehec, vla / Jordan Gregoris, vcl)
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: one chorale from either Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr’ BWV 663, or Vater unser im Himmelreich BWV 682, or Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam BWV 684.

On the Gallery Great Organ:

  • Franz Liszt: Prelude and Fugue on BACH.
  • Guy Ropartz: Prélude Funèbre (Funeral Prelude).
  • Thierry Escaich: Vers l’espérance (Towards Hope) extract from “Les trois Poèmes (The Three Poems)”.

Wednesday 11th of August (8:30PM) Basilica of Saint-Maurice: Benoît Mernier’s concert

Concert around the idea of transmission from Centuries. 
Like the other venues of the Competition, this concert will be free entrance.


  1. The Competition is open to young organists of all nationalities, age limit: 35 (1986).

  2. All rounds are public. The competition is held on an anonymous basis, the jury not seeing the candidates.

  3. The selection through the videos will be carried out by three members of the jury. Listening to the videos will be systematically interrupted after a maximum of 15 minutes. The pieces of music from the playoffs can be recorded on different organs at different times. However, for each piece the recording must be made in one single shot, without cutting or editing, as in a concert in front of an audience.

  4. Through their participation in the Competition, the candidates give their authorization to be filmed (audio and video) and photographed during the Competition rounds, the concerts given by the 1st Prize winner and the Awards ceremony. They agree that the images made by the Competition photographers may also be used by third parties.
    The candidates will transfer free of charge to the Fondation Georges Cramer, sponsor of the Competition:
    1. the right to record, archive, reproduce, have reproduced and distribute their performances at the Competition and the concerts, including images on disk or any other medium existing for the moment or in the future, including in digital format, as well as,
    2. the right to communicate and broadcast their performances to the public by any televised or radio equipment or system, including by Internet, cable network, via radio or other means, live or pre-recorded, in linear or on-demand mode, with or without free or paying downloads, in Switzerland and abroad.

  5. The transfer mentioned in Section 4) above includes all the performances given during the Competition as well as the performances given by the 1st Prize winner during the Competition, the concerts, and the Award ceremony. The transfer is for the entire duration of copyrights and other related rights according to the laws in force at present and in the future.

  6. In addition to the completed application form, the candidates will send :
    1. a Curriculum Vitae;
    2. a photograph (portrait);
    3. a copy of passport or identity card;
    4. a copy of an organ diploma (Bachelor, Master…).

  7. A non-refundable registration fee of 100 CHF must be paid before May 15, 2021 to the account of Banque Cantonale du Valais, Av. de la Gare 20, CH-1920 Martigny.
    1. Account Holder: Fondation Georges Cramer
    2. Account Number: 103.338.72.00
    3. IBAN: CH65 0076 5001 0333 8720 0

    The registration will only be final after receipt of the transfer.

  8. For the finale: the Händel concerto chosen by the candidate will be played on the chancel organ of the Basilica, accompanied by a string quartet without conductor. During the rehearsal, the organist will be alone with the quartet and will propose his interpretation, tempos, phrasing, articulations, ornamentations…

  9. The management of the combinator is the responsibility of the candidates during the competition. A page-turner will be made available during the competition.

  10. The title “Laureate of the International Organ Competition of Saint-Maurice 2021” may be used by the three finalists.

  11. The First Prize winner will be awarded with concerts at the Abbey of Saint-Maurice, the Cathedral of St. Nicolas in Fribourg, the Collegiate Church of Neuchâtel, and the Church of St. Francis (saint François) in Lausanne.

  12. Any decision of the jury will be final and will not be subject to appeal.

The organs

Church of St. Francis (Saint-François), 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)

Church of St. Sigismund (Saint-Sigismond), 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

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

The prizes

The First Prize of 10’000 Swiss francs is the Valais State Prize, awarded 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 Supporting Committee of the project “Creation of a Center of Musical Excellence for Organ” at the Abbey of Saint-Maurice.


Concerts for the First Prize winner

Saint-Maurice, Basilica: September 19, 2021

Lausanne, St. Francis (Saint-François) church

Fribourg, St. Nicholas (Saint-Nicolas) Cathedral

Neuchâtel, Collegiate Church. 

Sant’Elpidio a Mare (Italy) : Concert-Prize in memoriam Maestro Luigi Celeghin, founder and artistic of Sant’Elpidio International Organ Festival


Jean-Marc Luisada

France - President of the Jury

Professor at the “Ecole Normale de Paris”

Lionel Avot


Musical advisor for the organ of Radio France

Thomas Kientz


Organist, Basilica of the Abbey of Saint-Maurice

Véronique Le Guen


Organist, Church of Notre-Dame de Lorette, Professor at the conservatory of Clichy and Saint-Mandé

Marie-Ange Leurent


Organist, Church of Saint-Séverin in Paris, Deputy Director of the Academy of Music of Sainte-Anne d’Auray

Benoit Mernier


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

Ja Kyung Oh

South Korea

Professor at the National University of Arts in Seoul

The jury will make its decisions blindly (without knowing the names of the candidates). The decisions of the Jury are final.

Travel and accommodation expenses

Travel expenses are the responsibility of the candidates. The Competition organizers can provide a room in a private home free of charge. Candidates may also stay in a hotel, but at their own expense. The costs of meals and beverages are at the expense of the candidates.


Deadline for registration

May 15, 2021

The results of the selection test will be communicated to the candidates by the end of June 2021.

Registration for the organ competition