The competition is open to professional organists or organ students born after 31 December 1986. For candidates who previously applied for the cancelled competition in 2020, the earliest accepted date of birth is 1 January 1985. An expert jury will select twelve candidates out of all applications, based on audio recordings submitted by the applicants. The twelve selected candidates are invited to come to Groningen where they will enter in a week-long organ competition.
The organ competition is a contest in three rounds, in which the contestants will present a program of compulsory organ works in addition to a number of choice compositions.
In the first round the competitors will perform on the Timpe organ in the Nieuwe Kerk and (one day later) on the organ in the Martinikerk. Six candidates are to proceed to round 2, the semifinal, in which they will play the Edskes organ in the Lutherse Kerk. This organ is especially suited for ensemble playing. Not only is everyone close together on the organ gallery, but the organ has a Kammerton (a’= 415 Hz.) and is tuned in a baroque pitch. Participants get to play solo in this round, along with strings from the Luthers Bach Ensemble. The three best semi-finalists proceed to the finale in the Martinikerk, where the winner is determined by an international jury.
During the competition the participants will play compositions by Scheidemann, Hanff, Tunder, Weckmann, Buxtehude, Purcell, Bach, Stanley, Haydn, Schumann, Brahms, Rheinberger and Bunk.