The prize-winners of the 31st St Albans International Organ Competition were announced at a screening at St Albans Cathedral on Friday 16 July, which was also streamed live on the Organ Festival’s website. 

Watch the full presentation

An exceptionally large field participated in the Preliminary Recorded Round, which was open to organists of all nationalities born after 17 July 1988. The judges selected twelve performers to take part in the online competition:
Callum Alger (United Kingdom)
Ben Bloor (United Kingdom)
Daniel Chang (United States of America)
Quentin du Verdier (France)
Andrew Forbes (United Kingdom)
Steven Knieriem (The Netherlands)
Collin Miller (United States of America)
Mitchell Miller (United States of America)
Andrew Morris (United States of America)
Magdalena Moser (Austria)
Mona Rozdestvenskyte (Lithuania)
Jannik Schroeder (Germany)

Each competitor was asked to submit a video-recorded performance of a balanced 40-minute programme including:

  • JS Bach: Fantasia in C minor BWV 562
  • Saint-Saëns: Prelude and Fugue in B major op.99 no.2
  • The commissioned work by Roxanna Panufnik
  • Plus own-choice work(s).

The illustrious jury of this year’s virtual Competition were David Hill (United Kingdom), Bine Bryndorf (Denmark), Pieter van Dijk (Netherlands) Rie Hiroe (Japan), Todd Wilson (USA), Franz Danksagmüller (Austria/Germany) and Jean-Baptiste Robin (France).

The Peter Hurford Bach Prize of £1000, for the best performance of Fantasia in C minor BWV 562, sponsored by Mrs Elisabeth Wells, was awarded to Daniel Chang.

JS Bach: Fantasia in C minor, BWV 562 (excerpt)
Played on the Craighead-Saunder organ at Christ Church Episcopal in Rochester, New York

The Roxanna Panufnik Prize of £800, for the best performance of the commissioned work by Roxanna Panufnik, was awarded to Mona Rozdestvenskyte.

Roxanna Panufnik: Gloria cum Jubilo (excerpt)
Played in the Propsteikirche in St Trinitatis, Leipzig

The Douglas May Award of £800, for the best performance of a single work, was presented to Magdalena Moser

Georg Muffat: Toccata decima from Apparatus musico-organisticus (excerpt)
Played on the Wallfahrtskirche Sankt Veit am Vogau, Austria

Three equal prizes of £1500 were awarded for the most outstanding overall performances to:

Mitchell Miller

Max Reger: Fantasia on B-A-C-H, Op.46 (excerpt)
Played on the Walcker-Klais organ in the Stadtkirche of Ludwigsburg, Germany

Quentin du Verdier

Maurice Duruflé: Toccata from Organ Suite, Op.5 (excerpt)
Played on the Beuchet-Debierre (1965) organ of the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre in Angoulême, France

Mona Rozdestvenskyte

Thierry Escaich: Vers l’espérance from Poèmes No.3 (excerpt)
Played in the Heilig Kreuz Kirche, Detmold, Germany