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Contestants

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Eri Takata
Eri Takata
Japan

Eri Takata was born and raised in Japan. She studied organ with professors Aya Iinuma, Hatsumi Miura and Makiko Hayashima, at Ferris University of Yokohama in Japan. After getting her bachelor’s degree of organ in 2017, she came to Europe to continue her musical education. During the 2018-19 academic year, she studied organ at the Conservatory of Strasbourg with Francis Jacob and Martin Gester. In September 2019, she began studying a master program at the University of Music of Lausanne (HEMU), in Benjamin Rhigetti’s class. In 2021, she got her master’s degree. Currently, she is studying organ in France, at the Conservatory of Caen with Erwan le Prado. She is a titular organist in the Corsier-sur-Vevey church, Switzerland.

Niels Adema
Niels Adema
The Netherlands

Niels Adema was born in Hilversum in 1986. From the age of six he received organ lessons from his father Ton Adema. He then received lessons from Toon Hagen in the Grote of Sint Michaëlskerk in Zwolle. Niels studied organ and church music with Reitze Smits at the HKU. He has won prizes in various organ competitions. He also works as a music teacher at the Van Lodenstein College in Kesteren and Barneveld.

From the age of fifteen he has also been an organist at the Reformed Church in Kampen. As a conductor and accompanist he is active in several choirs.

Diederik Blankesteijn
Diederik Blankesteijn
the Netherlands

Diederik Blankesteijn (born 1996) is a concert organist, church organist and music teacher. He studied organ at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Jacques van Oortmerssen, Matthias Havinga and Pieter van Dijk. His final exam concert which concluded his studies in 2021 was assessed with a 9.5. He also took lessons in piano (with Frank Peters and Wouter Bergenhuizen), basso continuo and improvisation (with Miklós Spányi and Rien Donkersloot) and clavichord (with Menno van Delft).

Diederik won prizes at several organ competitions. In 2022 his organ transcription of the piano sonata by Franz Liszt was published by Edition Pors. As a church musician he holds the Bevoegdheidsverklaring I (Certificate of Competence I) and is active in, among others, the Grote Kerk in Nijkerk and the Fonteinkerk in Amersfoort. As a music teacher he is active both privately and at music school De Muzen in Veenendaal.

Nicola Dolci
Nicola Dolci
Italy

Born in Crema (Italy) in 1997, Nicola Dolci began his musical studies at the Istituto musicale L. Folcioni under the guidance of Francesco Zuvadelli. He pursued his organ studies with Pietro Pasquini at the Conservatorio Luca Marenzio di Brescia, earning his Bachelor’s degree with honors, and with Massimiliano Raschietti at the Conservatorio in Verona, obtaining his Master’s degree with distinction. He attended courses in Italy and abroad with Roberto Marini, Loïc Mallié, Olivier Latry, Daniel Roth, Jean-Babtiste Monnot, Ton Koopman, Emilia Fadini, and deepened his organ improvisation with Fausto Caporali. He also perfected the conduction of ensembles and orchestras thanks to Alessandro Quarta and Angelo Bolciaghi. He was awarded in the Rino Benedet National Competition in Bibione (2017) as the winner of the students category, and won 1st prize in the ‘Premio Nazionale Delle Arti’ (15th edition). His activity ranges from solo concerts to collaborations with ensembles and orchestras as organist and conductor; since 2018 he is the artistic director and conductor of the ‘Cremaggiore’ Orchestra of Crema.

Currently he is professor of organ at the ‘Scuola diocesana di musica Santa Cecilia’ of Brescia, and appointed organist at the ‘Basilica di S. Maria della Croce’ in Crema.

Ilaria Centorrino
Ilaria Centorrino
Italy

Ilaria Centorrino was born in Messina (Italy) in 1998. In June 2021 she graduated magna cum laude in organ at the Conservatory of Cosenza with Emanuele Cardi. In 2022 she did a traineeship at the University of Kansas (U.S.) with James Higdon and Olivier Latry. She gave organ concerts in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, England and France. Ilaria has won several competitions including the Fondazione Friuli Competition in Udine (Italy) and the 8th International Organ Competition Pierre de Manchicourt in France. She also won 3rd prize in the Miami International Organ Competition and 3rd prize at the 7th Sweelinck International Organ Competition in Amsterdam.

She is also one of the six finalists of the Elizabeth B. Stephens International Organ Competition that will take place in Atlanta (Georgia, U.S.) in June 2022.

In November 2018 she recorded her first CD for Urania Records on the Pinchi organ in the San Giorgio Basilica in Ferrara. Next year she will bring out her latest CD of ‘Pedals Only’ organ music.

Elena Maleva
Elena Maleva
Russia

Elena Maleva was born in 1994 in Aykhal, in the Russian Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). She began her music studies at the age of six at the Children’s Music School in Aykhal. In 2014 she graduated from the Belgorod State College of Music as a pianist. It was also here that she started her organ studies with Mikhail Sukhodolov and Timur Khaliullin.

In 2014 she enrolled in the St. Petersburg State Conservatory in the organ class of Tatyana Chausova. Later she continued her studies in the class of Daniel Zaretsky. In 2020-2021, she was awarded an internship in the Erasmus+ program at the State Conservatory of Music in Cosenza (Italy) with Emanuele Cardi. She actively participates in competitions in Russia and Europe.

She has taken part in many masterclasses of leading European organists (Laslo Fashang, Cor Ardesch, Karsten Vibush, Erwin Wiersinga, Elke Völker, Gunther Rost, Sergej Tcherepanov, Maria Mokhova, Theo Jellema, Sietze de Vries and others).

Vladimir Skomorokhov
Vladimir Skomorokhov
Russia

Vladimir Skomorokhov was born in 1999 in Volgograd, Russia. He studied organ with Nataliya Gureeva at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 2021 he graduated with distinction. At present, he is studying with Arvid Gast at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, Germany.

He is a laureate of international competitions like the Joseph Gabler Competition in Ochsenhausen, (Germany), the Mikael Tariverdiev Competition in Kaliningrad, the International Odoevsky Organ Competition and the International Alexander Goedicke Competition (both in Moscow). He was also the winner of the 3rd All-Russian Competition in Moscow (2020).

He has entered several European organ festivals such as the International Organ Festival in Haarlem (Netherlands), and in Organ Academies in Dordrecht (Netherlands), Leipzig (Germany), and Smarano (Italy) and Mataro (Spain).

He leads a highly active concert life, giving concerts in Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries

Leendert Verduijn
Leendert Verduijn
The Netherlands

At a very young age Leendert Verduijn (1996) listened with fascination when he heard someone play the organ. By imitating this he taught himself to play the organ. He got his first lessons from Hans Pors, organist in Bodegraven. In 2012 he was admitted to the preparatory course of the Utrecht Conservatory and received lessons from Reitze Smits. A year later he started his education at Codarts Conservatory Rotterdam with Bas de Vroome, Aart Bergwerff (interpretation) and Hayo Boerema (improvisation). In 2018 he got his Bachelor’s degree and in 2020 he also completed the course ‘Docent Muziek’ (teacher of music). Since September 2020, he is pursuing a Master’s degree with Ben van Oosten and Zuzana Ferjenčíková. He is also studying at the Utrecht Conservatory with Reitze Smits.

Leendert followed masterclasses with a.o. Wolfgang Seifen and Thierry Escaich. During the summer academy of the International Organ Festival in Haarlem he was taught by Olivier Latry, Lorenzo Ghielmi and Leo van Doeselaar, among others. In 2017 he won 1st prize at the 25th Govert van Wijnconcours Maassluis and 3rd prize at the Ambitus Organ Competition.

As a church organist Leendert is associated with the Reformed congregations of Oudewater-Hekendorp and Sluipwijk. He is also a part-time Music Teacher at the Driestar College and has a flourishing teaching practice for organ and piano in Gouda. Leendert plays in various organ recitals and concerts as a soloist and accompanist.

Ágoston Tóka
Ágoston Tóka
Hungary

Ágoston Tóka graduated from the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest with highest honors in 2013. His teachers were János Pálúr, László Fassang and István Ruppert. Besides the organ he learnt piano with Ilona Prunyi and baroque chamber music-continuo playing with Miklós Spányi. He participated in masterclasses by David Titterington, Christoph Bossert, Olivier Latry and Sietze de Vries.

He is prize winner of prestigious international organ competitions like the Bach-Liszt International Organ Competition in Erfurt-Weimar-Merseburg (2011) and the International Organ Competition Pierre de Manchicourt in France (2016). He also won the Bach Prize in St Albans in 2017. He received the Scholarship of the Hungarian Republic in 2012, the Junior Prima Prize in 2013 and the Annie Fischer Scholarship in 2015, 2018 and 2019.

As a church musician, he has been the organist at Újpest Baptist Church and at the Hungarian Baptist Church’s Central Choir. He plays regularly in concerts as a soloist, choir accompanist and as basso continuo player in baroque musical ensembles.

Sunkyung Noh
Sunkyung Noh
South Korea

Sunkyung began her musical training in piano and organ at Ulsan High School of Arts and the Church Music Department of the College of Music at Yonsei University in Seoul, with teacher Dong Ill Shin. She then studied for her master’s degree in Germany at the Musikhochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg with Wolfgang Zerer. She specializes in the performance of baroque music in the disciplines of ensemble, basso continuo and harpsichord, which has always been her great wish. In Hamburg, she is also taking lessons at the Department of Historical Keyboard Instruments (Claviorganum) with Wolfgang Zerer and Menno van Delft. In her homeland, she is already active in competitions and has won several prizes. In addition, she is gaining experience by performing at concerts and festivals in Korea as well as in Germany and The Netherlands.

Daniel Seeger
Daniel Seeger
Germany

Daniel Seeger (1997) received his first piano lessons at the age of five and also took violin and percussion lessons before becoming an organ student of Kirchenmusikdirektor Helmut Brand at the Stadtkirche Tuttlingen in 2012. Two years later, as a young student, he was admitted to the organ classes of Professor Stefan Johannes Bleicher and Mario Hospach-Martini at the Conservatory in Trossingen.

From 2016 to 2021 he studied organ at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Leo van Doeselaar, Paolo Crivellaro and Erwin Wiersinga. In 2022 he will also complete his studies in church music at the UdK.

Daniel is not only an organist but also a chamber musician. He performs with soloists and in chamber music ensembles as an organist, pianist, continuo player and accompanist of choirs.

He also put his musical skills to the test in competitions; he won numerous prizes and has been a scholarship student of the German organization of Cusanuswerk since 2019.

Anne Spink
Anne Spink
USA

Though originally from the USA, Anne Spink’s musical exploration has taken her to international contexts, studying in diverse areas including Los Angeles, Helsinki, Gothenburg, and Veneto. In late 2019 she moved to The Netherlands to begin organ studies with Ben van Oosten in Rotterdam, though this was cut short by the Covid-era. Since the fall of 2020 Anne Spink has been working towards her Bachelor’s degree in organ performance at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the studio of Matthias Havnga. Previous instructors from the USA include George Ritchie (2019) and Christopher Lynch (2018). She has played in numerous masterclasses, with such instructors as Leo van Doeselaar, Nathan Laube, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Hans Davidsson, Kimberley Marshall and Tom Mueller. She also was an active participant in Paul Jacob’s organ institute at the Oregon Bach Festival for a week of intensive studies and masterclasses with the professor, followed by a concert.

Anne has performed in venues such as het Orgelpark, Waalse kerk, and De Duif (Amsterdam), Helsinki Cathedral, and Central Lutheran (Eugene, USA).

Related work experience also includes instrument building: in 2017 she interned for Zuckermann Harpsichord International, and was later employed by Bond organ builders (2018-2019) in Portland, Oregon.

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