Sydney Organ Competition

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Round 1 - A recording with playing time not to exceed 25 minutes

NOTE:  So that we can send recordings easily to adjudicators overseas, we now ask that you save your recording as either a mp3, .wav or .aiff  file to Dropbox and send the link in an email to   The email with the audio recording link must include a copy of the signed declaration from a witness (see How to Apply), confirming that the recording was made by the applicant in his/her presence at the stated location in 2016 and that it is a true and unedited recording of the performance. (Breaks between pieces are permitted). Please note that .wav or .aiff files are preferred as they are of higher audio quality.

Three works, comprising:

1.       Any fast movement of a Trio Sonata by J.S.Bach (with the exception of BWV 525)

2.       Nun komm', der Heiden Heiland (BWV 659) by J.S.Bach

3.     Any work or movement of your own choice.

Round 2 - Public Recital for Finalists

Playing time must not be less than 30 minutes or more than 40 minutes

Three works, comprising:

1.       Any major work by J.S.Bach

2.       A work written between 1800 and 1940

3.       Any work written after 1940*

*The Australia Prize will be awarded for excellence in the performance of an organ work by an Australian composer as the third piece in Round 2.  The work must be of at least 7 minutes' duration and written in 1990 or later.

No work, or part of a work from Round 1, may be repeated in Round 2.  The word "work" includes multi-movement pieces as well as a selection of movements from a work.  

 The program for both Rounds must demonstrate a variety of styles, textures and moods. The order of the works is at the competitor's discretion.  In Round 2 the competitor should demonstrate an awareness of suitable programming.

First Round Adjudication

Adjudicators will be asked to return their assessments by Friday 26th August and finalists (maximum of 3) will be announced by Wednesday 31st August 2016.  All competitors will be given comments regarding their performances.   In Round 1 the competitor’s identity will not be known to the adjudicators.

Overseas Competitors

 We welcome interstate/overseas competitors.

 All travel and accommodation costs are the competitor’s responsibility.

Conditions of Entry

General Information

The Competition is administered by the Committee of the Organ Music Society of Sydney Incorporated.  The Committee reserves the right to amend the Conditions of Entry as it deems necessary.

The order of performance will be decided by draw conducted by the Committee.

Copies of all music must be made available to the Committee at the rehearsal on the day of the competition. Responsibility for obtaining the necessary permission to copy music rests with the competitor.  Original music will be returned to the competitor.

A competitor whose performance does not fall within the time limit will be disqualified.

Any malfunction of the competition organ believed by the competitor to occur during the competition must be reported at that time to the Committee.

The use in any form of cameras, camera phones, mobile phones, video cameras, sound recorders and the like during the competition is prohibited.

Any instructions given by the Committee must be strictly observed.

Adjudicators - Teachers and Competitors

The competitor may not enter if they have been a student of the adjudicator since 1 January 2016.  Competitors who will be participating in the Sydney Conservatorium Organ Music Academy in October 2016 are exempted from this restriction.

Rehearsal and warm-ups

Each finalist will receive two hours rehearsal time on the competition instrument in the week prior to the competition and 2.5 hours on the day of the competition, which includes the warm-up.  Generally, rehearsals are organised through the competitor's teacher.  It is the competitor and teacher's responsibility that the amount of time allowed for rehearsal is not exceeded.  In the case of competitors having no teacher present, the Committee will allocate someone to be present.  

In the weeks that rehearsals are scheduled, competitors may not rehearse on the organ at any other than their allocated time.  Under no circumstances should a competitor during or before this period contact the venue authorities in order to gain further access to the organ.  Not playing the Verbrugghen organ in the week prior would not pertain to any scheduled activities of the academy, namely competitors cannot practise competition repertoire other than at their specified rehearsal time.

Console Assistant

Competitors need to demonstrate that they are able to perform as independently as possible. While it is accepted international practice to use a console assistant, the adjudicators will assess the extent to which excessive assistance has advantaged the competitor over other performers.  Competitors may have one console assistant (not their teacher) only and they are encouraged to organise their own.   Any competitor unable to bring his/her own console assistant may request one to be arranged by the Committee.  Competitors are advised to rehearse with them.

Open Final Adjudication

The decision of the adjudicators is final.  The Committee, on the advice of the adjudicators, reserves the right not to award any or all prizes.  The adjudicators will take into consideration whether the program is well balanced and varied.  

Fine Music 102.5FM Broadcasts

As part of Fine Music's Young Virtuosi broadcasts, the performances in the competitions are recorded by Fine Music and may be broadcast.  By entering, each competitor gives permission to the OMSS to use the biographical details and the photograph supplied with the entry for publicity in our Sydney Organ Journal and for other related purposes, including Fine Music for their broadcasts and magazine.  Performers will be unable to claim any rights or royalties.

How to Apply

As the first round is strictly anonymous, please address all enquiries as well as your application as detailed below, to

Competitors will receive a confirmation by email with a identification number**.  If you do not receive an acknowledgement within seven (7) days, please contact Godelieve by email or on ?0404 837 363 as soon as possible.

Please note that all the information (Competitor's details, declarations and payment etc) has the same closing date of Tuesday 2 August 2016

We suggest that you send all the necessary information by email in the week prior to the closing date starting Monday 25 July 2016 to  

Email all the details listed below in a .docx file:

State your full name and birthdate.  You may be asked to present a copy of your birth certificate, drivers licence or passport to verify your age.

State your full residential address, including Post Code, State and Country

Your contact details - mobile phone and email

Your teacher's name and contact details - mobile phone and email

List your repertoire for Round One.  Please ensure you give full details of your pieces - composer's full name, dates, date of composition if applicable, movement and opus numbers etc

List your repertoire for Round Two in the order you intend to perform the pieces. Once again, please ensure you give full details of your pieces - composer's full name, dates, date of composition if applicable, movement and opus numbers etc

A short biography (about 200 words)

A high-resolution .jpeg portrait photo

Email the following:

Scan the completed Declaration Form and email along with your Round One recording Dropbox audio link (Probably three files, one for each piece).

Make your payment of AUD $100 and email receipt:

By making your payment, the Committee understands that the competitor has agreed to abide by the Conditions of Entry as provided on the competition website.  The fee is non-refundable.


BSB: 032-086

Account No: 373954

Account Name: The Organ Music Society of Sydney Inc

** You must use your identification number as your payment reference.