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
  • 2019 – Pierre Offret


The Organ Great Price J-Louis FLORENTZ of French Academy of Fine Arts – 2020 will be presided by Mr Francis CHAPELET, honorary organist of St Séverin in Paris and honorary professor of the Conservatoire de Bordeaux.

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 2020

Francis CHAPELET, Organiste honoraire de St Séverin à Paris et Professeur honoraire du Conservatoire de Bordeaux / Thierry ESCAICH, Compositeur, Membre de l’Académie des beaux-arts / Alain SURANS, Directeur d’Angers Nantes Opéra, Expert mandaté par Madame la Directrice Régionale des Affaires Culturelles /Olivier BELLAMY, Journaliste, animateur à Radio Classique / Yasuko BOUVARD, Professeur au Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Toulouse / Hélène DESMOULIN, Professeur au Conservatoire à rayonnement régional d’Angers / François MEÏMOUN, Compositeur / Pascale MÉLIS, Organiste de Saint-Cloud, Professeur au Conservatoire de Courbevoie / Thomas OSPITAL, Organiste de St Eustache à Paris, Professeur au Conservatoire national supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris / Jürgen ESSL, Professeur à la Musik Hochschule de Stuttgart (Allemagne)

1- General Conditions

Candidates must be under the age of thirty on 17 May 2020.

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 2020 :

  • The application form correctly filled in
  • An audio CD or digital file recording of Tierce en taille (de la Messe) de Nicolas de GRIGNY et de Transports de joie (Ascension) d’Olivier MESSIAEN (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 2020 the title of finale test piece will be published on our internet site

At the end of January 2020, eight semi-finalists will be selected by the Festival Committee supervised by Jury members.

By mid-February 2020, 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:

  • François COUPERIN : Offertoire de la Messe à l’usage des Couvents
  • Juan CABANILLES : Tiento por ALAMIRE (révision Fr. Chapelet, Imprimerie Fonmarty)
  • Nikolaus BRUHNS : Prélude et fugue en sol mineur
  • Johann Sebastian BACH : un Allegro final de Sonate en trio (au choix)
  • Robert SCHUMANN: un Canon au choix
  • Louis VIERNE : Impromptu
  • Jehan ALAIN : Intermezzo
  • Maurice DURUFLÉ : Scherzo

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:

  • Dietrich BUXTEHUDE : Prélude et fugue en fa# mineur
  • Johann Sebastian BACH : Toccata, Adagio et Fugue en UT majeur or Fugue en SOL « à la Gigue » or Fugue n° 7 (avec pédale) de l’Art de la Fugue [Die Kunst Der Fuge] (éditions Peters, n° 8000, Walcha)
  • Pedro de ARAUJO : Batalha en FA du 6ème ton (révision Fr. Chapelet, Imprimerie Fonmarty)
  • Louis Claude DAQUIN : Noël en SOL n°10
  • Max REGER : Fantaisie et fugue en ré mineur, op 135b
  • Charles-Marie WIDOR : Allegro vivace (1er mouvement) de la 5ème symphonie
  • Marcel DUPRÉ : Prélude et fugue en sol mineur
  • Maurice DURUFLÉ : Toccata
  • Francis CHAPELET : Etna 71 (éditions Delatour)

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 – 2020:

On the third Wednesday of November, the winning finalist of the Jean-Louis Florentz – French Academy of Fine Arts – 2020 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… 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 Pierre Pincemaille 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 16 May 2020 – 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, Tierce en taille (de la Messe) de Nicolas de GRIGNY et de Transports de joie (Ascension) d’Olivier MESSIAEN.

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 17 May 2020 – 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 piece that will be announced in mid-January 2020, specially composed by François MEÏMOUN.

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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