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The Jury for the 29th International Organ Competitions has been announced:

Competition Jury 2017 - Page 1


Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin comes from a family of musicians who taught her piano from a young age. After studying music (piano, organ and harmony) at L’Ecole Nationale de Musique du Mans where she received the prize of the Ministry of Culture in 1980, she entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in the class of Rolande Falcinelli where she won First prizes for organ and improvisation and prizes for harmony, fugue and counterpoint (classes of Jean Lemaire, Michel Merlet and Jean-Claude Henry).

She was Organiste Emérite du Grand-Orgue de Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, Paris between 1983 and 2013, and since 1985 she is Titulaire Adjointe du Grand-Orgue de Saint Sulpice in Paris with Daniel Roth. In 1990, she undertook further study with Loic Mallie and received the second improvisation prize at the International Organ Competition of Chartres.

Sophie-Véronique has pursued a successful concert career (as a soloist and with orchestras). She has travelled to more than thirty countries and regularly visits the USA. Regarded by her peers as one of the best improvisers of her generation, she has also performed in concerts of "organ and narrator" especially with Pierre Arditi, Michael Lonsdale, Marcel Maréchal, Brigitte Fossey, Guillaume Marquet and Pierre-Marie Escourrou.

Her sensitivity to improvisation has led her to give master classes in France and abroad including at the AGO National Convention in 2012 and 2006 as well as academies (London, Biarritz, Kevlar, Stockholm, USA, etc.). She is also regularly invited onto the juries of national and international competitions (AGO Chicago 2006, International Competition Chartres 2008 and 2016, Concours Karl Nielsen Odense 2011 and 2017, AGO Nashville 2012, Longwood Gardens 2013, Miami 2014, Quebec 2014, Dublin 2014 and 2016, St Albans 2017, etc.). She was appointed Professor of organ interpretation and improvisation at the Royal College of Music in London in 2008, and was also a visiting professor at Yale University - New Haven USA (Nov 2010).

Her recordings, which include works from Bach to contemporary composers and improvisations have received the praise of the specialised press. Her recording of Mendelssohn and Bédard was awarded “5 diapasons” (Diapason, June 2008).

Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin - France


László Fassang - Hungary

As winner of the world’s most prestigious organ competitions and awards, László Fassang is one of the most versatile organists of his generation. The focus of his activities comprises the learning and spreading of classical organ literature. To this end he performs all over the world, teaching and giving public lectures in the course of which he tries to bring his pupils and audiences ever closer to the versatility of the organ and the richness of its literature.

He considers the preservation and professional maintenance of historical organs to be important and plays an active part in doing so.

As an improvising artist with exceptional abilities coupled as a keyboard player his interest spreads from the harpsichord to the fortepiano, and from the piano all the way to the Hammond organ. As well as playing in classical chamber formations he regularly participates in world music and jazz performances.

He graduated with distinction from the Liszt Academy of Music and the Paris Conservatoire. Taking a year away from studies, in 2000 he spent a year in Japan, where he was the resident organist of the Sapporo Concert Hall.

Among his competitive triumphs stand out the 2002 Calgary Gold Medal for improvisation and the interpretation Grand Prix and the audience prize of the 2004 Chartres competition. Between 2004 and 2008 he taught improvisation at the San Sebastian College of Music, followed by an organ teaching position at the Liszt Academy in Budapest.

Alongside his pedagogical activities he is a regular panel member at international organ competitions and performs in Europe, North America and the Far East, besides which his records have appeared in Hungary, Japan, France and Germany.

He is the artistic director of the organ concert series at the Palace of Arts in Budapest. In 2006 his accomplishments were acknowledged with the Liszt Prize and the Prima Prize, while in 2013 he was recognised with the Gramofon Award. Since 2014 he has been teaching keyboard improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire.


David Goode - UK

David Goode is Organist at Eton College, combining this post with a flourishing performing career.

A music scholar at Eton, and then organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, he studied organ with David Sanger and in Amsterdam with Jacques van Oortmerssen. From 1996-2001 he was Sub-Organist at Christ Church, Oxford; following prizes at the 1997 St. Alban’s Competition, and the 1998 Calgary Competition, he concentrated on a freelance career between 2001 and 2003.  In 2003 he moved for two years to Los Angeles as Organist-in-Residence at First Congregational Church, home to the world’s largest church organ.

In 1999 he made the first of numerous appearances at the Proms, and in 2002 he made his recital debuts at the RFH and at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, subsequently playing all over Europe, the US, Australia and the Far East. He played at the AGO National Convention in Houston in June 2016. He also has an established partnership with the trumpeter Alison Balsom: in March 2014 they played for the reopening concert of the RFH organ, and play in Bern Cathedral in August 2016.

Of his Bach CD for Signum Records in 2013 The Times said: 'One of Britain’s finest organists puts the 1714 organ in Freiberg Cathedral through its paces …. An exemplary introduction’. He is now recording the complete works of Bach for Signum: Vol. 1 appeared in October 2015. Five CDs of a complete survey of Reger’s organ music have now also appeared, to warm reviews. He has forged a strong relationship over the years on Radio 3 with the BBCNOW and the BBC Singers, and has played numerous contemporary works, including Francis Pott’s Christus (‘a stupendous achievement’ The Times), and Peter Maxwell Davies’ Solstice of Light.

He has also recently developed a profile as a composer: a set of anthems has been published, together with recordings by the choir of King’s College, Cambridge; and his Blitz Requiem was performed in September 2013 by the Bach Choir at St Paul’s Cathedral, and broadcast on Classic FM.

Competition Jury 2017 - Page 1

Competition Jury 2017 - Page 1