Canadian International Organ Competition crowns Champion!

    French competitor Frédéric Champion wins First Prize in the first edition
    of the Canadian International Organ Competition - as well as Audience

    MONTREAL, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The new Canadian International Organ
Competition (CIOC) ended on a high note Sunday night as each of the
Competition's three top prizewinners performed a farewell recital to a packed
Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church during a memorable Closing Gala Concert. There were
over 1,000 people at the Church. "It was quite fitting that this event was
held on October 19, seeing as it's the international Organ Spectacular day,
when organs all around the world were being played," said René Fréchette,
Executive Director of the CIOC. Even more fitting is that the winner of the
First Prize and the Richard Bradshaw Audience Prize is named Champion -
Frédéric Champion.
    As the only international organ competition of its kind in the Americas
in 2008, the CIOC held its first edition in Montreal between October 8 and 19
in three different churches: Immaculée-Conception, Saint-Jean-Baptiste and
Notre-Dame Basilica. Following two highly intense rounds, the Final Round at
Notre-Dame was nothing short from spectacular. "It was just amazing! The
competitors, the performance, the people - there were at least a thousand
people at the Basilica!" said Noel Spinelli, chairman of the Board of
directors of the CIOC, of the Finals. "The Canadian international Organ
Competition is a success - this is what teamwork is all about!"
    During the finals, five competitors from five different countries each
played a 60-minute recital for which the programme was left to their
discretion. The competitors vied for a total of $72,000 in prizes, with a
First Prize of $30,000. This prize was awarded by an international jury of
nine organ experts to Frédéric Champion. The Frenchman also wins a three-year
career management contract with Karen McFarlane Artists and a CD recording
with ATMA Classique. As for the Second Prize of $15,000, it went to British
competitor Andrew Dewar, who also won the $5,000 Messiaen Prize in the Second
Round. And the Third Prize ($10,000) was awarded to Jens Korndorfer from
Germany. Els Biesemans from Belgium, one of the finalists, won the $5,000 Bach
Prize for the First Round. And finally, the jury presented the $2,000 Royal
Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) prize to the most promising Canadian
competitor - Jonathan Oldengarm.
    The jury awarded all the prizes except for the $5,000 Richard Bradshaw
Audience Prize, which was announced Sunday night during the Closing Gala
Concert at Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church. In addition to the official awards
ceremony, the closing event featured recitals by the top three prizewinners.
Jens Korndorfer played a piece by Louis Vierne: Symphonie no 3 op. 28
(excerpts), (iv. Adagio - v. Final), followed by Andrew Dewar's rendition of
Max Reger's Fantaisie uber Halleluja! Gott zu loben bleibe meine
Seelenfreund!, op. 52 no 3. While Frédéric Champion closed the evening by
performing two pieces: Allegro de la Sixième Symphonie en sol mineur, op. 42
no 2 by Charles-Marie Widor and Sicilienne et Toccata, excerpts from Suite,
op. 5 by composer Maurice Duruflé. His recital confirmed not only the jury's
choice for First Prize but why he was voted as the public's favourite for the
Richard Bradshaw Audience Prize. "Audiences in music competitions don't always
agree with the jury's choice for First Prize. But in this Competition,
Frédéric Champion was a clear favourite among both the jury and the audience!"
declared John Grew, Artistic Director of the CIOC. Mr. Grew was joined by
Diana Bradshaw, widow of the late Richard Bradshaw, to make the announcement
and to present the Audience Prize to Champion. "This award is in honour of our
friend and colleague, the late Richard Bradshaw, who brought the first Opera
house to Canada. He was also a great supporter of this Competition," added
John Grew.
    Recital engagements featuring Champion are already planned for 2009 and
2010, namely at the Bales Organ Recital Hall at the University of Kansas, at
the Bach Festival in Montreal and in Calgary in collaboration with Cantos
Music Foundation.

    About CIOC

    The Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC) welcomes young
organists to Montreal from around the world. Each year, the organisation works
to promote the organ as a major instrument in the world of music, and also
contributes to the development of organ music through the talent of young
organists. The Competition, by showcasing these impressive instruments in
their historically beautiful settings, plays an important role in emphasizing
the value of our heritage, and recognising Montreal as a major North American
centre for pipe organ music. For additional information on the CIOC, visit

    Attachment:     Photos of the winners
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For further information:

For further information: Dina Barghout, Canadian International Organ
Competition, (514) 233-3510; Roch Landriault, NATIONAL Public Relations, (514)

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