Sydney Organ Competition

Home Open Inter and Junior Organs Past Results

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

NOTE:  So that recordings can be sent to adjudicatorseasily, recording should be saved either as 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 2018 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.        An Wasserflüssen Babylon BWV 653 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, and 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 requested to return their assessments by Friday 24 August 2018 and finalists (maximum of 3) will be announced by Friday 31 August 2018.  All competitors will be provided with feedback on 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 2018.

Rehearsal and warm-ups

Each finalist will receive 2.5hrs rehearsal time on the competition instrument on Sunday 30th September and 1.5/2 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.

Note: The rehearsal times may be altered slightly depending on confirmation of exact availability of the Sydney University Great Hall

Competitors may not rehearse on the organ at any other than their allocated time in the week prior to the competition.  Under no circumstances should a competitor during or before this period contact the venue authorities in order to gain further access to the organ.

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 their console assistant.

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.  


The performances in the competitions are recorded by Greg Ghavalas and may be broadcast by Fine Music 102.5FM. By entering, each competitor gives permission to the OMSS to use the biographical details and the photograph supplied with the entry for publicity in the Sydney Organ Journal and for other related purposes, including Fine Music for their broadcasts and magazine. Performers will not be permitted to claim any rights or royalties. Performers will be offered an audio dropbox link of their performance. If they wish to have the performance on CD it will incur a small fee.

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 an identification number.  If you do not receive an acknowledgement within seven (7) days, please contact Godelieve Ghavalas by email, or on 0404 837 363, as soon as possible.

Please note that all the information (Competitor's details, declarations and payment) has the same closing date of Tuesday 31 July, 2018.

We suggest that you send all the necessary information by email in the week prior to the closing date.

Submission of entry should include in an email:

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

Your full residential address, including post code, state and country

Your contact details - mobile phone number and email

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

List of repertoire for Round One.  Please ensure that full details of pieces are supplied including the composer's full name, date of birth/death (where appropriate), date of composition (if applicable), movement and opus numbers

List of repertoire for Round Two in the of performance. Once again, please ensure full details of the pieces are supplied including the composer’s full name, date of birth/death (where appropriate), date of composition (if applicable), movement and opus numbers

A short biography (about 200 words)

A high-resolution .jpeg portrait photo

Email the following:

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

Make your payment of AUD $120 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: 373962

Account Name: The Organ Music Society of Sydney Inc

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