So far, the CIOC has held 3 organ competitions, with the fourth scheduled for 2017. You heard a lot about each of the organists back when they won the competitions, but I’m sure you’re all wondering: what are they doing now?
I rolled up my sleeves and began researching on these talented organists, and ended up with this summary of what they’re up to and what they have planned for the foreseeable future:
Frédéric Champion, 2008 winner (France)
Champion won at the Canadian International Organ Competition in 2008, which was the first year that this competition was held. That win secured his music regular air time on Radio-Canada and CBC, which are the official broadcasters for CIOC events. Since then, he has been touring North America, performing at concerts in cities like Salt Lake City, to Toronto, to Cincinnati, Calgary, and Savannah, to name a few. He has also recorded a CD with ATMA Classique, which has received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from critics everywhere.
Champion has several concerts and recitals organized for 2015, most of which are in Switzerland, some in Denmark, one in Netherlands, and, of course, one in Montreal at the Gala Concert with the other 2 past winners.
Christian Lane, 2011 winner (USA)
Like Frédéric Champion, Christian Lane has been very busy, traveling and concertizing in Europe and North America. He recently was featured in an article called 'Rising Still' from The American Organist, which is exactly what he is doing. He recently secured the position of titular organist at the All Saints Brookline in Massachusetts and will be playing a concert with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal on September 20, 2015, marking the centenary of the Armenian genocide and the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
And of course he is looking forward to playing at the Gala Concert with Frédéric and David on October 16 at the Notre-Dame Basilica!
David Baskeyfield, 2014 winner (UK)
As the recent CIOC laureate, Baskeyfield is the most familiar face in the Canadian Organ sphere.
Following his win in October, like the other winners before him, he began recording an album with ATMA Classique in January 2015. He most recently competed in the improvisation category of St Albans and has a list of upcoming concerts and recitals planned for the rest of the year in Canada and America. The launch of his first CD will happen at the Gala Concert! Works on the CD include Saint-Saëns, Healey Willan and Ernest McMillan (he DID win the RCCO prize for best interpretation of a Canadian piece after all!).
Gala Concert Challenge!
With the flurry of professional activity, it was tricky to find a date for all three winners to get together, but somehow, the Canadian International Organ Competition did it. It is a truly once in a lifetime concert - the kind you look back on and think about in amazement. Three organ stars, under one steeple. What are YOU doing on October 16?
Written by Maheen Yacoob
Maheen is studying English and Chemistry at McGill University. She is an avid science fiction fan, board game aficionado, and amateur drummer, with one weakness: she cannot whistle. Nevertheless, she is professionally adept at making all things work.