Consolde of the Great Organ at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, which hosts the Elizabeth B. Stephens International Organ Competition next week in Atlanta, Georgia. (courtesy of PRUMC)

Six young finalists vie for $12,000 prize in Atlanta’s Elizabeth B. Stephens International Organ Competition

EarRelevant Staff | 13 JUN 2024

Atlanta, GA— The second bi-annual Elizabeth B. Stephens International Organ Competition in Atlanta is set to showcase the talents of six finalists from around the globe on June 19, 2024. This year’s competition coincides with the 100th birthday of its namesake, the late Elizabeth B. Stephens. Hosted by the Music and Arts Program of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church (PRUMC), the event is free and open to the public.

The finalists, who will compete for $21,000 in prize money, include Adam Chlebek (USA), Aleksanteri Wallius (Finland), Gabriel Dissenha (Brazil), Mitchell Miller (USA), Magdalena Moser (Austria), and Manuel Piazza (Canada). The first prize winner will receive $12,000, with second and third prizes set at $6,000 and $3,000, respectively.

The six finalists, clockwise from upper left: Adam Chlebek, Gabriel Dissenha, Mitchell Miller, Aleksanteri Wallius, Manuel Piazza, and Magdalena Moser. (composite, images courtesy of PRUMC)

The six finalists, clockwise from upper left: Adam Chlebek, Gabriel Dissenha, Mitchell Miller, Aleksanteri Wallius, Manuel Piazza, and Magdalena Moser. (composite, images courtesy of PRUMC)

The competition honors Elizabeth B. Stephens, a dedicated organist and advocate for the arts who served the PRUMC and various churches worldwide until her passing in 2020. Born on June 19, 1924, Stephens’ legacy continues through this prestigious competition, which fosters young talent in the field of organ music.

The festivities will kick off on Sunday evening, June 16, at 7:30 p.m., with a recital by James O’Donnell, who was with Westminster Abbey for decades and now with The Yale School of Sacred Music. O’Donnel’s recital is also part of the 2024 Atlanta Summer Organ Festival.

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In preparation for the finals, the competitors will have two days of rehearsals at PRUMC. The church’s Great Organ and two additional practice organs will be available for the finalists.

The competition will culminate in 50-minute recitals by each finalist, featuring a program of their choice. These final performances will be judged by a distinguished panel of organists and musicians: David Briggs (Chair of the Adjudicators), Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; James O’Donnell, Professor at Yale University Institute of Sacred Music; Dr. Isabelle Demers, Associate Professor of Organ at McGill University; Lynne Davis, Organ Chair at Wichita State University; and David Coucheron, Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Each recitalist has the option to include improvisation based on a theme provided at the recital.

The six competitive recitals, to be performed on the church sanctuary’s Great Organ, are scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. at PRUMC.


The Great Organ of PRUMC, installed in 2002 by Mander Organs of London, is a standout mechanical action organ known for its responsiveness and intricate craftsmanship. The Chancel instrument is divided among twin 40-foot cases with pipes for three primary manual divisions (Great, Swell, and Choir) in the left-hand “South” case and the Pedal division pipes, complete with two full-length 32-foot stops, in the right-hand “North” case. The Solo Organ, a division with a battery of high-powered reed stops on electric action, is in the upper level of the Chancel South case. An additional 42-rank instrument with a decidedly “French” character, also built by the Mander firm in 2008, rises above the sanctuary’s West End Gallery. The Great Organ’s crowning glory is its Trompette Royale, an en chamade stop used for heraldic fanfares and as a solo against the full organ. A complete list of stops can be found here (PDF file).

For more information about the Elizabeth B. Stephens International Organ Competition, visit



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