Call for Entries

The Great Silbermann Organ in Freiberg’s St. Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Gottfried Silbermann Society/Otto Schröder


XVIth International Gottfried Silbermann Organ Competition
September 2 – 10, 2023

Every two years, young organists from all over the world are given the unique opportunity to demonstrate their skills at the International Gottfried Silbermann Organ Competition on Silbermann’s outstanding baroque organs and to experience the authentic sound cosmos of the historical instruments. The encounter with renowned artists and an enthusiastic audience opens doors and makes this competition a formative experience. The competition is dedicated to the famous organ builder Gottfried Silbermann, who created a unique organ landscape from his workshop in Freiberg 300 years ago that has been largely preserved to this day.

Application Procedure & Programme

The 2023 competition comprises three public examination rounds on the historic Silbermann organs of the Petrikirche Freiberg, of the Cathedral Sanctissimae Trinitatis Dresden (Hofkirche) and of the Cathedral St. Marien Freiberg.


The pre-selection jury will decide on admission to the competition based on the submitted audio recording of:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Concerto in A minor after Antonio Vivaldi BWV 593
1st or 3rd movement

Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend BWV 709

Competition Rounds

First Round | September 2 – 4, 2023
Freiberg | Petrikirche | Silbermann organ from 1735

Matthias Weckmann (1616-1674]
Toccata vel praeludium 1mi. Toni in d

Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749) [?]
Ciacona in B flat major
Ciacona G major

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Praeludium and Fugue in A minor BWV 543

Second Round | September 6 – 7, 2023
Dresden | Cathedral | Silbermann organ from 1755

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Praeludium, Trio and Fuge B flat major BWV 545b

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
Choral Prelude: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
(BWV Anh. II 73)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Fantasy in F minor KV 608

Final Round | September 9, 2023
Freiberg | Dom St. Marien | Silbermann organs from 1714 and 1719

Programme is at applicant’s convenience but must include a programmatic-dramaturgical title reflecting on the festival theme for Silbermann-Tage 2023 – “Bach & Silbermann”

Total duration: 45 minutes

Both Silbermann organs in the Dom St. Marien Freiberg must be played.

Title and programme must be submitted at the beginning of the competition.

Prize winners’ concert| September 10, 2023 | 5 p.m.
Freiberg | Dom St. Marien


Bine Bryndorf (Denmark), president of the jury
Els Biesemans (Belgium)
Pieter van Dijk (Netherlands)
David Franke (Germany)
Albrecht Koch (Germany)
Jean-Baptiste Robin (France)
Martin Strohäcker (Germany)


The following prizes may be awarded in the XVIth International Gottfried Silbermann Organ Competition 2023:

1st prize: 7,000 EUR – Prize of Mitteldeutsche Barockmusik e.V.
2nd prize: 4,000 EUR – Prize of Förderverein Gottfried Silbermann e.V.
3rd prize: 3,000 EUR – Prize of Silberstadt Freiberg e.V.

The jury may award the following concerts to finalists of the competition:

Altenburg, Schloßkirche – Trost Organ
Arnstadt – Bach Organ (Reconstruction by Wender)
Bremen, Dom – Silbermann and Sauer Organ
Dresden, Kathedrale – Silbermann Organ
Freiberg, Dom – Silbermann Organs
Freiberg, Petrikirche – Silbermann-Organ
Merseburg, Dom – Ladegast Organ
Stralsund, St. Jakobi – Wegscheider Organ
Organ concert at the International Lübecker Orgelsommer 2024
a concert of Silbermann Society t
a concert at Heinrich Schütz Musikfest or Tage Mitteldeutscher Barockmusik
a concert at Bachfest Leipzig

Competition Rules & Application

Eligibility & Conditions of Participation

The competition is open to organists of all nationalities born after
Dec. 31, 1991, who accept the conditions of the competition.

The jury will decide on admission to the competition based on the sound recording which must be submitted with the application.

All examinations are by anonymous process. The order of candidates will be decided by lot.

The jury shall decide on the results of the competition on the basis of the competition rules. The jury’s decisions are final, there is no right of appeal.

Application Procedure

Deadline for applications is April 30, 2023.
Candidates will be notified of admission no later than May 31, 2023.

To apply, submit the following documents

  • » application form
  • proof of date of birth (copy of birth certificate/identity card/passport)
  • curriculum vitae
  • portrait photo in print quality (min. 1300 x 1800 pixels)
  • for the pre-selection: one of your own uncut sound recordings:
    • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Concerto in A minor after Antonio Vivaldi BWV 593; 1st or 3rd movement
    • Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend BWV 709

Recordings are to be sent via a download link in a common audio format (e.g. mp3, wav). The file is to be sent with anonymised metadata.

The application is to be sent digitally to

Jury of the pre-selection

Anna-Victoria Baltrusch
Henry Fairs
Jan Katzschke

Participation fee

The participation fee is 50 Euros, payable by July 1, 2023, to the bank account indicated. Make the transfer free of charges for the beneficiary and indicate the reference “Silbermann Competition”.

Gottfried-Silbermann-Gesellschaft e.V.
IBAN: DE75 8705 2000 3115 015525
Sparkasse Mittelsachsen

Participation fees are non-refundable.

Accommodation & travel expenses

From the Second Round onwards, the organiser will cover participants’ costs for accommodation.
Upon request, the organiser will arrange accommodation for the first round of examinations.

Participants will cover their travel expenses (round-trip).

Registration assistants will be arranged by the organising office. In addition, all participants are entitled to bring registrants at their own expense. Their names and addresses must be stated in the application.

The organiser reserves all rights to audio-visual recording and broadcasting of performances and events that are part of the competition in order to use them for their own public relations. Competitors are not entitled to any financial compensation.

All the prize-winners are required to perform at the prize-winners’ concert free of charge.