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logoorange Competitors

2011 Quarterfinalists
Martin Aaskilde was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1986. At the moment he is in his second year studying organ at The Royal Danish Academy of Music Copenhagen. There he is studying repertoire with Yuzuru Hiranaka and improvisation with Søren Christian Vestergaard. Before starting at the academy of music he studied church music in Aalborg, Denmark from 2007–2009 and finished this education with the PO-exam (preliminary church musician education) with top marks. He was prizewinner in the piano competition "Fyns Amts Klaverfestival" in summer 2006 and was granted the scholarship "Hørmesterlegatet" same year.

Anna-Victoria Baltrusch was born in Berlin in 1989. At the age of four she started taking piano lessons and at the age of nine she began taking organ lessons. She studied piano and organ at the Berlin Julius-Stern-Institut of the Universität der Künste where her organ teacher was Prof. Andreas Sieling (2004–08). From 2005–08 she also trained to be a church musician, part-time. Since October 2008, Anna-Victoria has been studying Church Music (organ with Prof. Martin Schmeding) and piano (Prof. Gilead Mishory) at the University of Music, Freiburg. In October 2009, she won the First Prize at the International Organ Competition in Wiesbaden, in March 2010 a Scholarship Prize at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb in Bonn together with the admission to the Bundesauswahl Konzerte junger Künstler.
Since October 2010, Anna-Victoria has a scholarship from the Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst e. V., an institution of the Protestant Church in Germany. She won several first prizes for piano and organ at national and European competitions like Jugend musiziert (6 First Prizes in categories such as organ solo, piano solo, piano four hands, piano with soprano, piano with violin) and Steinway piano competition, as well as many other prizes; she has been a finalist twice at the International competition for young organists in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2004 and 2007). Anna-Victoria has been invited regularly to play concerts as an organist as well as a pianist in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey. She has participated in organ masterclasses with Prof. Martin Schmeding, Prof. Tomasz Adam Nowak, Prof. Zsigmond Szathmáry, Frédéric Champion and Christian Schmitt; and for piano with Prof. Sontraud Speidel, Prof. Willem Brons, and Prof. Gilead Mishory.

David Baskeyfield is a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music. He was organ scholar at St John's College, Oxford, where he read Law. Following a year as organ scholar at Dublin's two Anglican cathedrals, he began a Master's degree at Eastman, and now continues in the studio of David Higgs, studying improvisation with William Porter. In 2010 he won first and audience prize at the Miami International Organ Competition, first prize at the Mader organ competition, Los Angeles, and first and audience prize at the AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation. Active as an accompanist, continuo player and occasional cocktail pianist, he also enjoys access to the large Wurlitzer organ in Rochester's Auditorium Theatre and has gone some way to legitimizing this private indulgence in being elected to the Board of the Rochester Theatre Organ Society.

Nicholas Bideler, born in 1986, is a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA and has been in the music field since he was 8 years old. He received his bachelor's degree in organ performance from the University of Kansas in 2008 and master's degree at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2010. Nicholas is currently working on his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas. His primary teachers have been Dr James Higdon, Dr Michael Bauer and Dr Roberta Gary respectively.
In 2007, Nicholas commissioned a piece for solo organ by Jean-Baptiste Robin, organist at the Cathedral of Poitiers, France and professor of organ at the Conservatory of Music of Versailles. In 2008 he was appointed as the Associate Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati where he played for both the Cathedral Choir and Cathedral Choir of Boys and Girls. In the autumn of 2010, Nicholas became organist at Saint Mary's Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri and as the director of the RSCM choir of boys and girls at Visitation Catholic Church in Kansas City.
Nicholas has performed throughout the United States and Europe in such venues as the Washington National Cathedral; St Peter's Episcopal Church, Ladue, Missouri; Princeton University; Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Newark; St Thomas Fifth Ave, NYC; and Westminster Cathedral, London.

Stefan Donner, born in 1987, received his first musical lessons at the age of seven years in piano and clarinet. He became organist of the church in his hometown when he was eleven years old. He continued to study at the Conservatory for Church Music in Vienna where he studied the organ with Mag. Johannes Wenk. Two years later (in 2003), he was accepted to study at University for Music and Performing Arts. After high school leaving examination he followed his studies in organ (with Prof. Planyavsky), Piano (with Prof. Antoinette van Zabner) and also musicology at University of Vienna. In 2008 he won the first price at the international 'Daniel Herz' Organ Competition in Brixen (Italy) as the youngest participant. One year later he was placed third in the international 'August Humer' Organ Competition in Altenfelden (Austria). In 2010 he won the first price in the Austrian 'Franz- Schmidt' Organ Competition where he also received the Franz- Schmidt Medal for the best interpretation of the organ works from Franz Schmidt.
Stefan Donner has performed in the Philharmonic Essen (Germany) and in the Radiokulturhaus Vienna, where he played in a live broadcast to Austrian Radio.
He operates also as organist in the chapel of the famous Viennese castle Schönbrunn.

Christian Drengk was born in 1988 in Weimar, Thuringia, studies church music, piano and conducting in Weimar and Freiburg. Among his teachers were Michael Kapsner, Volkmar Lehmann, Martin Schmeding, Gilead Mishory, and Hans Michael Beuerle. During his studies, he was helped by a scholarship from the fund of the German people. After receiving several prizes in the federal competition for young musicians, he was a prizewinner in many competitions, among them the Rotary Piano Competition Essen, the Stavenhangen in Greiz, the Bertold Hummel in Regensburg, the Prize of the Museum Society Freiburg, and the European competition for young organists in Ljubljana. In addition, he has received many grants and scholarships. He was awarded a cultural grant from the free state of Thuringia in 2003 and 2004, and a scholarship from the cultural fondation 'Pro Europa'. He is currently cantor and organist of the Auferstehungs Church in Freiburg.
He has attended master classes with Edgar Krapp, Zsigmond Szathmáry, Frédéric Champion, Marcus Karas, Johannes Geffert, Ilana Schapira, and Karl Ludwig Kreutz. He has given concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and with orchestras in Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria.

Han Mi Kang was born in South Korea. Han Mi studied with Prof. Tong-Soon Kwak at Yonsei University, Seoul, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with the highest grades and won the Chang Chon-Klais Organ Competition. Between 2005 and 2007, she attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Master of Music. After further study at the University of Iowa, she came to Montreal for continuing doctoral studies with Prof. William Porter at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. In 2009, she was invited to compete at the International Organ Festival at St Albans, UK, and one year later, she won the First Prize at the Lynnwood Farnam Organ Competition in Montreal. At present, in addition to her doctoral studies, Han Mi is Organ Scholar at the Church of St Andrew and St Paul and a course lecturer at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.

Ilona Kubiaczyk-Adler began her musical studies in Poland, on piano since the age of 8, and on organ since the age of 16. She received her Master of Music degree from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she studied organ performance with Jacques van Oortmerssen. She also earned a Master of Arts degree from the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland. Ilona received the first prize in the competition of French music interpretation in Warsaw, Poland, and was a finalist of the 11th Organ Competition in Leiden, Holland. From 2004–2008 she worked as a teaching assistant in the Organ, Harpsichord and Early Music Faculty in the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland. She has been active as a concert musician since the age of 15, performing as a soloist, a chamber musician, and with orchestras in Europe and in the United States. Currently residing in Phoenix, Ilona is working towards a DMA in organ performance, and is a Teaching Assistant to Kimberly Marshall at the Arizona State University. She also holds the position of Music Director at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity. She often performs original music with Jacob Adler in their duo Zeelab.

Maria Lebedeva was born at 1986 in Leningrad (Russia). She studied at the Lyceum of Art "Ochta Centrum of Esthetics Education" in the piano class of N.N. Perunova. She studied the organ from 1999–2003 in the organ class of M.M. Levin at the same Lyceum. She continued learning at the SPb University of Culture and Arts at the Piano class of docent A.V. Ivanovich and at the organ class of docent V.A. Shlapnikov.
Maria graduated from the SPb N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory where she studied in the organ class of Professor N.A. Oksentian, the harpsichord class of Professor I.V. Rosanov and the piano class of docent A.V. Ivanovich. She is currently a first year student on the masters programme at the Saint-Petersburg State University in the organ class of professor Daniel Zaretsky, harpsichord class of Irina Shneerova and carillon class of professor Yo Haasen.
She's a laureate and diplomant of some international competitions in different countries(including Moscow, Russia and Rumia, Poland) where she was awarded prizes in 2010). Maria has also taken part in various organ academies (Finland, Holland, Switzerland) and many master-classes with leading world organists.
She has given many concerts as soloist, accompanist and with ensembles, taken part in different festivals in Russia (Saint-Petersburg, Vyborg, Yaroslavl) and abroad (Finland, Germany, Belarus, Estonia, Ukraine).

Colin Lynch was the First Prize Winner of the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition in 2010 and serves as Director of Chapel Music and School Organist at St Paul's School in Concord, NH. St Paul's is a co-ed, fully residential school rooted in the Episcopal tradition for grades 9–12. As a member of the faculty, he serves as organist for daily chapel services, Sunday Eucharist, and Evensong. He conducts the 80-voice St Paul's Choir and the 24-voice Madrigal Singers, which he has led on performance tour to South Africa and Cuba. In addition to his duties at St Paul's, he is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, studying with James David Christie and Olivier Latry. Mr Lynch completed a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance with Thomas Murray at Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music where he was awarded the Director's Prize and completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Douglas Cleveland. Improvisation study has been with Richard Webster, William Porter, and Jeffrey Brillhart.
Mr Lynch has held previous positions at Christ & Holy Trinity Church in Westport, CT, Marquand Chapel of the Yale Divinity School, the Episcopal Church at Yale, and was organ scholar at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago. He has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, South Africa, Brazil, and Argentina. A member of the music honour society Pi Kappa Lambda, he has also been awarded prizes in several competitions including the Augustana Arts/Reuter Organ Competition, the Ottumwa Organ Competition, and the George Markey Memorial Organ Competition. He has served on the faculty of the Oberlin Summer Organ Academy, the Eton Choral Course in England, and was Director of the New Hampshire "Pipe Organ Encounter," a program designed to introduce teenagers to the organ. This summer, Mr Lynch will begin a new appointment as Assistant Director of Music and Organist at Trinity Church, Copley Square in Boston, MA.

Shinon Nakagawa, a native of Tokyo, Japan, is pursuing a Master of Music degree as a student of Hans Davidsson at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, USA. She completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in Music at Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, where she studied with Tsuguo Hirono and Naoko Imai. She also graduated with the highest grades from the Hochschule für Künste Bremen, Germany, where she studied early music with Harald Vogel and Hans Davidsson, and started her studies in the Concert Exam. She was awarded the Ataka Prize in 2003 and Acanthus Music Prize in 2004, and was a winner of the 7th Virtuoso of Shizuoka, Japan, in 2002. Her master thesis about Ladegast organs was published in Japan Organist 34 in 2007. She has served as organist at Hijirigaoka Church in Tokyo and St Matthew Church in Bremen-Huchting.

Carole O'Connor studied organ with Una Russell and piano with Mary Lennon and Siobhán Kilkelly at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, graduating with a first class honours degree in organ performance in 2006. During her degree, she won prizes including the Actors Church Union Award in the DIT and the Fitzgerald prize in the Feis Ceoil. She has participated in organ summer schools in Cambridge and in Sion and Romainmôtier, Switzerland. In 2007, she completed a masters in musicology at UCD.
Carole is currently a PhD student at the DIT and studies organ with David Adams at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She teaches for Pianos Plus and is organist of St Andrew's Church, Westland Row.

Jared Ostermann is a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, where he studies organ with James Higdon. He received his Master of Sacred Music degree in 2009 from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied with Craig Cramer and his Bachelor of Music in Church Music is from the University of Kansas (2007), where he studied with Michael Bauer. Jared has been awarded prizes at a number of competitions, including the Miami International Organ Competition, the John R. Rodland Scholarship Competition, the San Marino Organ Competition, and the Augustana/Reuter National Undergraduate Competition.
Jared is currently the Director of Music at St Ann Catholic Church in Prairie Village Kansas. He is also the founder and director of Sursum Corda, a Kansas City-area choir specializing in Renaissance Polyphony.
Jared lives with his wife Barbara and their children Sophia and Dominic in Lawrence, Kansas.

Joonho Park was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1985. He graduated from the Korea National University of Arts (KNUA) with Bachelor degrees in class of Prof. Jakyung Oh and continuing his professional studies at the University of Performing Arts and Music Stuttgart-Germany in class of Prof. Jon Laukvik (MA and Artist' Diploma) since 2008.He has won numerous first prizes and many other awards from international organ competitions in Europe and Asia such as the 'Jangcheon-Klais Organ Concours' in Seoul, Korea (2003), 'International Organ Competition of Graz' in Austria (2006), 'International Organ Competition of St Maurice' in Switzerland (2007), 'International Organ Competition of Musashino-Tokyo' (2008) 'International Organ Competition of Nuremberg' in Germany (2009).
As a promising organist, he regularly gives solo recitals at important concert venues both nationally in his home country as well as internationally in Seoul, Tokyo, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and London.

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