Prize winners 2015

1st Prize: Thomas Gaynor (New Zealand)

Thomas Gaynor began his musical studies at the age of ten with piano lessons, moving on to organ at thirteen. He completed his Bachelor of Music in organ performance with first-class honours at the New Zealand School of Music under the tutelage of Douglas Mews. As a piano student of Judith Clark, CNZM, he was awarded the LTCL diploma with distinction. Currently, he is pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts under David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. He has participated in masterclasses and workshops with a number of organists, including Michel Bouvard, Cameron Carpenter, James David Christie, 
Ken Cowan, Olivier Latry, Jean-Baptiste Robin, Jaques Van Oortmerssen, Stephen Tharp and Harald Vogel. Thomas Gaynor is the winner of the Sydney International Organ Competition (2014) and the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition (2014). He was awarded second prize in the Miami International Organ Competition (2014) and the Arthur Poister Competition (2013). Since 2014, Thomas Gaynor is Assistant Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church in Pittsford. His studies have been generously supported by many scholarships, most recently the Kiwi Music Scholarship, Dame Malvina Arts Excellence award, and Creative NZ.

2nd Prize: Anna-Victoria Baltrusch (Germany)

Anna-Victoria Baltrusch was born in Berlin in 1989. From the age of four she got piano lessons and from the age of nine lessons in organ playing. From 2002 onwards she was a junior student in piano and organ at the Julius-Stern-Institut of the University of Arts (UDK) in Berlin. After her Bachelor's and Master's degree in church Music (organ with Professor Schmeding, Professor Zsigmond Szathmáry and Frédéric Champion) and piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau she is now studying for the degree of Soloist Diploma Organ. Anna-Victoria Baltrusch was awarded first prize at the Internationaler Orgelwettbewerb der Bach-Gesellschaft Wiesbaden (2009), second prize at the 60th International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich (2011), first prize at the Internationaler August-Gottfried-Ritter-Wettbewerb in Magdeburg (2013) and second prize at the International Organ Competition St. Albans (2013). Anna-Victoria Baltrusch has performed in recitals and concerts throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Spain, Great Britain, Turkey and Slovakia. She made her Solo Debut at the Philharmonie Berlin in January 2012. She often plays chamber music and is a sought after lied–accompanist.

3rd Prize: Chelsea Barton (USA)

Chelsea Barton holds a Bachelor's Degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, where she studied organ, harpsichord, and improvisation with William Porter. Following her studies at Eastman, Chelsea completed a year of study with Michel Bouvard, Yasuko Bouvard, and Jan Willem Jansen at the Conservatoire Rayonnement Regionale in Toulouse (France). She is currently pursuing Masters studies at the Schulich School of Music (McGill University) with Hans-Ola Ericsson and Hank Knox. Chelsea Barton was awarded second prize in the Arp Schnitger International Organ Competition and in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition as well as first prize in the West Chester International Organ Competition. She has participated in masterclasses presented by Olivier Latry, Michael Radulescu, Joan Lippincott, Jacques van Oortmerssen, and others.

Special Prizes

Special prize for the best Bach Interpretation
Martin Rabensteiner (Germany)

The special prize for the best Liszt Interpretation was not awarded.