Competition rules


a/ Age limit:
To be eligible, organists must have been born no earlier than 1 January 1991.

b/ Registration by Internet:
Candidates must register between Monday 1 February and midnight on Monday 5 April 2021 on the Toulouse les Orgues website: – select “Competition”.
Candidates are responsible for meeting the competition deadlines.

Details of the documents required for registration
To be valid, the registration file must include the following:

1 The completed registration form on the website

The candidate must complete the registration form online on the Toulouse les Orgues website, and also provide the various administrative documents listed below:
– copy of a currently valid ID document – a statement certifying that the recording is not a copy of another performance, and that the concert extracts have not been digitally altered in any way
– a personal biography in English and/or French, no longer than 1000 characters including spaces
– a photograph

2 A concert programme

– Candidates will be required to propose a music programme for a 45-minute concert. Programmes of 40-50 minutes maximum will be accepted.
– They shall also indicate, from the following list, the organ chosen for the semi-finals and the final in Toulouse, in the event that they are shortlisted:
“classical organs”: the organs of the Musée des Augustins or the church of Saint-Pierre des Chartreux
“symphonic organs”: the organs of the Basilica of St-Sernin or the church of ND de la Dalbade
“neo-classical or modern organs”: the organs of the Cathedral of St. Etienne or of the Couvent des Dominicans
– The choice of works and composers is entirely free, irrespective of the musical style. The programme may include organ works, transcriptions or arrangements. Non-classical music and improvisations are accepted but must not exceed 15 minutes over the entire programme. Transcriptions will be accepted with no time limit.
– The programme must not include the participation of other musicians.

3 A digital audio recording

– Candidates shall record excerpts of their programme in a good-quality digital format (.mp3 or .wav). Recordings shall not be edited in any way.
– Recordings shall not exceed 20 minutes in length. Candidates are free to choose complete pieces or extracts of the works in the programme.
– Recordings shall be sent by WeTransfer link to the following address
– Candidates must state where the recordings were made, the date, and the general characteristics of the organ used for the recording (date of construction, factor, number of keyboards and stops).
Please note: as the recordings will be assessed anonymously, videos will not be accepted.

4 Registration fees

The non-refundable €50 entry fee shall be paid by bank transfer to the following account by midnight on 5 April 2021, on which date registration will be closed:
International Bank Account Number / IBAN FR76 1313 5000 8008 1018 4365 961
Candidates will receive an email confirming receipt of their completed file.
Registration fees will not be refunded.


a/ Shortlisting procedure
A jury consisting of three organists (Michel Bouvard, Jan Willem Jansen and Els Biesemans) will examine the projects submitted and listen to the recordings sent, with entries being presented anonymously by the competition director, Yves Rechsteiner.
The jury will base its decision mainly on the musical quality of the performances. It may take into account the originality and quality of the proposed programme. In addition, candidates must be attentive to the quality of the sound recording, which can affect the jury’s appreciation.
The jury will choose a maximum of 12 candidates for the semi-finals. The selected candidates will be informed in early June 2021.

b/ Semi-Finals in Toulouse (Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 October)
– The test will be a public performance and will take place in the presence of the jury on the organ chosen by the candidate.
– The candidate may choose to perform a maximum of 30 minutes of works or excerpts of works freely selected from his or her programme. Candidates may choose to play some or all of the pieces presented in the pre-selection recordings a second time.
– Candidates must be present in Toulouse, for rehearsals and tests, from 4 October to 9 October 2021.
– Depending on the organs selected and the distribution of candidates, the competition organisers will draw up a schedule of rehearsals that will be sent to the candidates at the latest one week before the test. In the interest of the candidates, this schedule will be drawn up taking into account the complexity of the chosen works and the needs in terms of registration. Candidates may not dispute the schedule drawn up by the competition organisers.
– Registration assistants will be made available to candidates for rehearsals and tests.
As most organs are not equipped with combiners, candidates should be careful not to plan for too complex and numerous registrations, so as to avoid causing difficulties for the assistants during the tests.
The Jury will choose a maximum of six candidates for the final. The jury is under no obligation to select the same number of candidates in each category.

c/ Final in Toulouse (Friday, 8 October)
Candidates will play their entire 45-minute programme in a public concert. Preparation for the tests will be under the same conditions as for the semi-final.
The final will produce three winners, one per category.

d/ Financial and travel assistance to candidates
– Financial assistance will be available for semi-finalists to cover their travel and accommodation costs, upon presentation of receipts, to a maximum of €300. A list of accommodation options as well as practical information to help contestants organise their stay will be available on the competition pages of the website, under “Competition”.
– Receipts: Not exceeding an overall total of €300 per contestant, economy-fare train or air tickets will be accepted and reimbursed, hotel bills in Toulouse (with breakfast) for a maximum of €85 per night, and meal receipts up to €16 per meal.


– In each category, the Competition awards a single prize of €4000. The jury is obliged to award one prize per category.
– The winners will be invited by European cities to give concerts in the framework of ECHO, European Cities of Historical Organs.
– The audience attending all 6 finals will be able to vote for their favourite candidate. The candidate with the most votes will be invited to perform during the 2022 Festival.

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