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David Titterington will chair the jury for the 2020 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition, now to be held online

Maggie Hamilton

Northern Ireland International Organ Competition goes online

10:35, 16th October 2020

The Northern Ireland International Organ Competition (NIIOC) is to move online for its 2020 edition, in response to the latest announcement about the tightening of coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland.  Fourteen players, aged 21 and under, from five countries have been chosen to participate.

Because of Covid-19, the 2020 competition, for players aged 21 and under, had been moved from Armagh to Belfast to allow for greater ease in physical distancing; it would also have made travel to the venue easier for the competitors and jury. The event was to have taken place on Friday 23 October (senior competition) and Saturday 24 October (morning masterclass).

Instead, the competitors will now be asked to submit recordings of themselves playing their planned competition programmes, with the usual specifications, on an organ in a church, concert hall or other venue of their choice, by Thursday 12 November. The jury will review the submitted video recordings and the announcement of the winners will be livestreamed via Zoom on Wednesday 9 December at 7pm.

David Titterington, artistic director of St Albans International Organ Festival and head of organ at the Royal Academy of Music, London, will now chair the jury. He will be joined by David Hill MBE, artistic director of the Bach Choir, London, Yale Schola Cantorum, and the Charles Wood Summer School, Armagh; and by Simon Harden, organist and director of music at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, and lecturer in organ and conductor of the Choral Society at Technological University, Dublin.

The first prize winner of NIIOC 2020 will receive £1,500 and recital opportunities. There are also cash and recital prizes for the second and third placed competitors, and recitals for the winners of the Dame Gillian Weir Medal and the Bach prize.

A new design for this year’s Dame Gillian Weir Medal has been created by Joel Smyth, commissioned by NIIOC through Ulster University. The front of the medal depicts the pipes of the Mulholland Organ in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, a favourite instrument of Dame Gillian.

More information can be found here.

 

 

 

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