2008 Competition

2008 First-Prize Winner: Frédéric Champion

Born in Lyon in 1976, French organist Frédéric Champion has won several prizes and awards for performing organ music from the 16th through the 21st century. Past awards in competitions include 1st Prize at the Minoru Yoshida Tokyo-Musashino Competition and “Bachpreisträger” at the Leipzig Bach Competition both in 2004; 2nd Prize at both the Concours de musique de chambre FNAPEC in Paris (organ & percussions) and the Luzern Competition in 2002; 1st Prize at the International Competition Gottfried Silbermann in 2001; 1st Prize at the International Competition “Musica Antiqua” in Bruges in 2000; and 3rd Prize at the Xavier Darasse International Competition in Toulouse in 1998. And most recently, in October 2008, Champion won 1st Prize and Audience Prize at the Canadian International Organ Competition in Montreal. Early on, Champion developed a fascination for music and started studying organ music as an autodidact. In 1994, he enters the Conservatoire National de Région in Lyon and studies organ with Louis Robilliard. He then studies organ with Michel Bouvard at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris organ and with Jan Willem Jansen at the Centre d’Études Supérieures de Musique (CESM) in Toulouse. Having performed regularly as a solo organist and with orchestras and choirs, Champion has given several concerts in France (Cathédrale de Chartres, Saint-Eustache in Paris), in Germany (Frauenkirche in Dresden, St. Thomas in Leipzig), in Russia, in Portugal and in Japan (Kawasaki Symphony Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Symphony Hall in Osaka). He has also created pieces exclusively for the organ, as well as for organ and percussions or choirs. Champion is also linked to transcribing symphonic pieces for the organ. Frédéric Champion has also performed with a number of orchestras as well as vocal or chamber music ensembles as a pianist and harpsichordist. In fact, his talent for improvisation extends to the organ, the piano and the harpsichord. A meeting with fortepianist Edoardo Torbianelli at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis provided Champion with a more global knowledge and encompassing vision of music. Following his victory at the 2008 Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC)—a prestigious new competition in Montreal that plays an important role in recognizing and promoting the value of organ music—Frédéric Champion acts as its first ambassador and pursues an international career. To know more about Frédéric Champion, please visit his website at http://www.fredericchampion.com/topic/index.html.

Other 2008 CIOC Winners:

  • 2nd Prize: Andrew Dewar, United-Kingdom
  • 3rd Prize: Jens Korndörfer, Germany
  • Royal Canadian College of Organists Prize: Jonathan Oldengarm,  Canada
  • Richard-Bradshaw Audience Prize: Frédéric Champion, France
  • Messiaen Prize: Andrew Dewar, United-Kingdom
  • Bach Prize: Els Biesemans, Belgium