Nicole Simental was awarded First Prize in The IV International Goedicke Organ Competition held September 18-24 at the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia. Americans choosing to enter the competition had to first successfully navigate two performance rounds held in Muncie, Indiana in May of 2016. As one of two Americans selected to move on, Nicole then competed in another two solo rounds (semifinals/finals) of different music as well as a final concert performance with orchestra of the Poulenc Organ Concerto. The jury was consisted almost entirely of Russian and German organists.
There were nine semifinalists from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and the U.S.A., and five finalists, of which Nicole was the only American, against four Russian organists. Each of the solo rounds included a required work by a Russian composer. In addition to receiving First Prize, Nicole was awarded a best performance Diploma for the obligatory Russian work played in the final round. This work was sent to each contestant two weeks prior to the competition.
As First Prize recipient, Nicole received 320,000 Rubles and the opportunity to present solo organ concerts at the Moscow conservatoire, the Omsk philharmonic society, the Perm philharmonic society, the Chapel Taurian (St. Petersburg), and the Academic M. Glinka Chapel (St. Petersburg).
Nicole has completed coursework for the D.M. in Organ as a student of Chris Young at the Jacobs School of Music. She is currently organist at First Christian Church and accompanist for the St. Paul’s Catholic Center in Bloomington, Indiana.