13 Oct 2015
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24-year-old Thomas Gaynor from Wellington has just won first prize in a prestigious International Organ Competition in Germany.
The 3rd Bach Liszt Organ competition has been held in Erfurt, Weimar, over the past 12 days. Fifteen young competitors from around the world were reduced to 4 finalists throughout three rounds. Over the course of the competition, competitors have played on 6 historically significant organs before a panel of internationally renowned judges. Organs include the instrument in the famous Bachkirche in Arnstadt where JS Bach served as organist for 5 years. To conclude the competition, Thomas Gaynor will give a Laureate recital in both Weimar and Erfurt.
First Prize is 12,000 euro, which Thomas will use to support his study in the USA.
Below is a link to a short clip of Thomas playing
Thomas completed his undergraduate study at the NZSM at Victoria University under Douglas Mews. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts under David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is the winner of the Sydney International Organ Competition and the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition, second prize winner of the Miami International Organ Competition, and a prize winner at the St Albans international Organ Competition. Thomas’s playing has been heard in recitals throughout Australasia and the USA. Recent engagements include the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.; St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York; and Auckland Town Hall, New Zealand. Thomas is currently Assistant Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church in Pittsford, New York. His studies have been generously supported by many scholarships, most recently the Kiwi Music Scholarship, Dame Malvina Arts Excellence award, and Creative NZ. There is also a trust that manages contributions from some 60 supporters to provide financial help for his studies.