Held every three years in Montreal, a city with a long-standing tradition of organ concerts, the Canadian International Organ Competition is open to virtuosi under age 35 from around the world.
Pipe Dreams focuses on five of these ultra-talented organ players, each with their own pressures and abilities. For Yuan Shen, the daughter of China’s most famous organist, coming in second is not an option; she believes that in order to win against the boys her will must be twice as strong as their strength and stamina. New Zealand’s Thomas Gaynor is hoping to be the first organist to win three major organ competitions in one summer. His main obstacle is Alcee Chriss III, from Texas, who's beaten him twice with playing influenced by gospel and jazz. Alcee's friend and classmate, Nick Cappozoli of Pittsburgh, is willing to take big risks through performing obscure, modern music, such as a piece by John Cage. New on the competition scene is 19-year-old Sebastian Heindl, the youngest person to ever compete in the CIOC, who taught himself to play at age 11 in the same town, Leipzig, Germany, as his idol and namesake Johann Sebastian Bach.
Who will master the ‘king of instruments’ and come out victorious?