The French Academy of Fine Arts plays an important role in the musical world. It makes many annual awards, the most important of which are the Liliane Bettencourt Prize for Choral Music, the Simone and Cino del Duca Foundation Music Prize, the Pierre Cardin Music Prize and the Charles Munch–Academy of Fine Arts Prize.

These initiatives help the French Fine Art Academy to make a significant contribution to France’s musical life. To honour its statutory commitments to help and encourage young musicians, the Academy, prompted by Monsieur Arnaud d’Hauterives (their Perpetual Secretary) and Monsieur Jean-Louis Florentz (academician, organist and composer), decided in 2002 to award a Grand Prix for organists similar to awards made in other artistic disciplines.  Since its inception, the Grand Prix has been organized by the Association pour la Connaissance, la Sauvegarde et la Promotion des Orgues du Maine-et-Loire (CSPO) (Association for the discovery, protection and promotion of organs in the Maine-et-Loire department), In partnership with the town of Beaufort–en-Vallée for the semi-final and the city of Angers for the final. It replaced the Concours National Inter-conservatoires (National Inter-Conservatory Competition) created in 1993 by the CSPO in Maine-et-Loire.

Encouragement of Young organists

Every year the Jean-Louis Florentz Organ Grand Prix, organised by the CSPO with help from the French Academy of Fine Arts and the Institut de France, provides an opportunity of helping to launch young artists of all nationalities on their professional careers.

Previous Winners

  • 2002 – Brice Montagnoux
  • 2003 – Thomas Monnet
  • 2004 – Lidia Ksiaskiewicz
  • 2005 – Régis Prud’homme
  • 2006 – Olivier Chardonnet
  • 2007 – Saki Aoki
  • 2008 – Gabriel Bestion de Camboulas
  • 2009 – Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas
  • 2010 – Maïko Kato
  • 2011 – Virgile Monin
  • 2012 – David Cassan
  • 2013 – Benjamin Pras
  • 2014 – Thomas Ospital
  • 2015 – Karol Mossakowski
  • 2016 – Thomas Kientz
  • 2017 – Loriane Llorca
  • 2018 – Emmanuel Culcasi


The Organ Great Price J-Louis FLORENTZ of French Academy of Fine Arts – 2019 will be presided by Mr François-Henri Houbart, Titulaire of the grand organ at La Madeleine Church in Paris.

The jury is composed of organists, one member of Academy of Fine Arts, a representative from the Ministery of Culture and personalities from the musical world.

Jury 2019

François-Henri HOUBART, Titulaire des Grandes Orgues de la Madeleine à Paris, président / Edith CANAT DE CHIZY, Compositeur, Membre de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts / Thierry ESCAICH, Compositeur, Membre de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts / Un Expert mandaté par Madame la Directrice Régionale des Affaires Culturelles / Olivier BELLAMY, Journaliste, animateur à Radio Classique / David CASSAN, Organiste de l’Oratoire du Louvre à Paris, Professeur au CRR de Nancy / Jean-Marc LUISADA, pianiste, professeur à l’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris / Pascale MÉLIS, Organiste de St-Cloud, Professeur au Conservatoire de Courbevoie / Anne-France PINCEMAILLE, organiste / Jean-François VAUCHER, Professeur des classes supérieures d’orgue au Conservatoire de Lausanne.

1- General Conditions

Candidates must be under the age of thirty on 12 May 2019.

French candidates must have studied at either a Regional or Department Conservatoire, or the Paris National Academy of Music. They are also expected to provide proof that they have gained a DEM (Diploma of Musical Studies).

Foreign candidates must hold the equivalent of a DEM (the highest diploma awarded by an officially recognised Academy of Music from one of the French regions or departments).

The following documents must be sent to the CSPO before 15 January 2019 :

  • The application form correctly filled in
  • An audio CD or digital file recording of Choral « Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern » BuxWV 223 of Dietrich Buxtehude and Toccata, op. 53 of Louis Vierne (compulsory piece) with a signed attestation that the recording is the candidate’s own playing. Any editing will invalidate the candidate’s application.
  • A full description of the instrument used
  • An official certificate or diploma delivered by the Director of the candidate’s Music School or College
  • A curriculum vitae, including the names of the candidate and organ teachers

> Sending of the registration form by post in:  CSPO 34 avenue Jean Lurçat 49240 AVRILLE – FRANCE
> Sending of the registration form by email in:

2- The Competition

Alf January 2019 the title of finale test piece will be published on our internet site

At the end of January 2019, eight semi-finalists will be selected by the Festival Committee supervised by Jury members.

By mid-February 2019, all candidates will receive the results.

Each of the selected and present candidates for the semi-final will receive a 500-€ lump sum in compensation of its traveling costs and accommodation.

Successful candidates must inform the CSPO of their individual programme (10 minutes for the Semi-Final and 20 minutes for the Final) before the end of February.

For the semi-finale, the free program of each candidate must have a total playing time of 10mn maximum, and choose in the following list:

  • Robert Schumann : Fugue n° 2 sur BACH
  • Camille Saint-Saëns : Prélude et fugue en si majeur n° 2, op. 99
  • Alexandre Guilmant : Final de la 1ère sonate en ré mineur, op. 42
  • Max Reger : Introduction et passacaille en ré mineur
  • Charles-Marie Widor : Scherzo de la 4ème symphonie, op. 13
  • Charles-Marie Widor : Andante sostenuto de la 9ème symphonie « Gothique », op. 70

For the finale, the free program of each candidate must have a total playing time of 20mn maximum, and choose in the following list, to obtain a program with various aesthetic and styles works:

  • André Raison : Offerte du 5ème ton « Le Vive le Roy des Parisiens »
  • Jean-François Dandrieu : une des deux « Tierce en taille »
  • Jean-Sebastian Bach : Final de la 5ème sonate en trio en do majeur
  • Jean-Jacques Beauvarlet-Charpentier : un « Noël » avec variations au choix
  • Félix Mendelssohn : Prélude et fugue en do mineur
  • Johannes Brahms : un « Choral » au choix

The candidates will have one day of practice time (from 10.0am to 6.0pm) allocated per instrument without any assistance. An extra practice period will be provided before each competition with assistants authorised by the festival.

3- Prizes

Grand Prix d’Orgue Jean-Louis Florentz – Académie des Beaux-Arts – 2019:

On the third Wednesday of November, the winning finalist of the Jean-Louis Florentz – French Academy of Fine Arts – 2019 Organ Grand Prix will be awarded a prize worth 4,500€ (four thousand, five hundred euros) in the prestigious setting of the Institut de France in Paris. They will also be offered several performance opportunities, including the church of la Madeleine in Paris, the Conservatoire of Strasbourg… and in Angers at the Printemps des Orgues Festival: for the Nuit de l’Orgue (Organ night) and the Journées du patrimoine (Heritage days).

Prix de la Ville d’Angers:

The city of Angers will award a prize worth 1,000€ (one thousand euros) to the runner-up.

Prize awarded by the general public:

Members of the public who have attended the finals will be entitled to vote for a special prize for the organist of their choice. The city of Angers has agreed to provide 500€ worth of prize money for the occasion.

4 – Competition dates

Semi-final: Saturday 11 May 2019 – 3:00 PM – Beaufort-en-Vallée Church

8 The semi-finalists must play a ten-minute individual program chosen in a list proposed by the Jury (see §2) and followed by the compulsory pieces, Choral “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” BuxWV 223 of Dietrich Buxtehude and Toccata, op. 53 of Louis Vierne.

After deliberation the members of the jury will name the four finalists who are expected to play at Angers Cathedral the next day.

The announcement will be made in the Salon d’Honneur at the town hall of Beaufort-en-Vallée.

Final: Sunday 12 May 2019 – 3:00 PM – the Cathedral of St Maurice, Angers.

Each of the four finalists must play a twenty-minute program chosen in a list proposed by the Jury (see §2) , and the compulsory pieces, “Prologue et Noël varié” de Pierre Pincemaille followed by a piece that will be announced in mid-January 2019, specially composed by Edith Canat de Chizy.

5 – Contacts

For questions about musical aspects of the competition, please contact

François-Henri Houbart, emeritus professor of Rueil-Malmaison Conservatoire:

For administrative questions:

Maryvonne Fleury: +33 (0)6 34 24 19 80 or

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