St Albans International Organ Competitions winners
20 July 2013
After a hotly contested final round of the Interpretation Competition, it was 11pm before the winners of the St Albans International Organ Competitions were announced last night.
Taking the Interpretation First Prize and Gold Medal was Simon Thomas Jacobs (UK), a former organ scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied with David Sanger with additional lessons from Jacques van Oortmerssen in Amsterdam. He is now based in the US as fellow in sacred music at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis. Jacobs was also awarded the Audience Prize for the most enjoyable performance in the Interpretation Final according to those listening.
Second prize in the Interpretation Competition was shared between Anna-Victoria Baltrusch (Germany) and Benjamin Sheen (UK).
The Improvisation Competition was won by Martin Sturm (Germany), an organist, pianist, conductor and composer from Regensburg. Martin had impressed the 2011 judges in 2011 with his originality of approach to improvisation, and his return to St Albans this year earned him the much sought after Tournemire Prize.
The Peter Hurford Bach Prize, for the best performance of JS Bach in any round of the competition, was won by Jihoon Song (South Korea).
The Jon Laukvik Prize, for the best performance of Laukvik's commissioned work Aria, Fugue & Final, was awarded to Benjamin Sheen (UK).
The Douglas May Award, for the best performance of a competition work in either the Quarter- or Semi-final rounds of either competition, was won by David Cassan (France), who had made it through to the Finals of the Improvisation Competition.
The Prizewinners Concert will be held at 11.30am this morning, and will include the premiere (by James McVinnie) of David J. Loxley-Blount's Sonus Repercussus, which won the Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2013, held in partnership with St Albans International Organ Festival.