The Seventh Pierre de Manchicourt International Organ Competition took place in the Pas-de-Calais region in northern France at the end of September. Given in memory of Michel Chapuis (1930–2017), it was organized by one of his former students, Bernard Hédin, who founded the competition. This year, candidates were allowed to freely choose their 25-minute programs on one, two, or three different organs: in the French Classical style (1988/2016 Garnier/Requier organ in Lens); in the polyphonic Northern German style (2001 Freytag/Tricoteaux in Béthune); and in the Romantic style (1855 Cavaillé-Coll in Saint-Omer).
The jury, Olivier Latry (France), president, comprised fourteen members. At Lens: Bernard Coudurier (France), president, Alain Alabau (France), Sylvain Heili (France), Olivier Houette (France), and Shin-Young Lee (Korea); at Béthune: Bernard Foccroulle (Belgium, president), Léon Berben (Netherlands), Anne-Gaëlle Chanon (France), Bernard Coudurier, and Ami Hoyano (Japan); and in Saint-Omer: Louis Robilliard (France, president), François Bocquelet (France), Anne-Gaëlle Chanon, Jürgen Essl (Germany), Ami Hoyano, Olivier Latry, Shin-Young Lee, and Ghislain Leroy (France).
The following prizes were awarded: First Prize at Saint-Omer to Mitchell Miller (U.S.A., a double-degree student in organ performance and German studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music who was awarded a Fulbright research grant to study organ in Germany), and First Prize at Lens to Quentin du Verdier (France); Second Prize at Saint-Omer and at Béthune to Liubov Nosova (Russia), ex aequo at Béthune to Peter van der Zwaag (Netherlands) and at Lens to Emmanuel Arakélian (France). Olivier Latry concluded the competition by presenting a concert on September 30 at the Saint-Omer Cathedral.
—Carolyn Shuster Fournier