HISTORY

The European Choral Association – Europa Cantat is the result of the merge of two choral associations:

  • the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Europäischer Chorverbände AGEC
  • the Europa Cantat – European Federation of Young Choirs

AGEC

 

1952: during the Tiroler Sängerfest in Innsbruck representatives of choir associations in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland established the idea to promote choir singing by exchanging compositions, choirs and other initiatives throughout Europe.

1954: foundation of a West European Union of Singers in St. Gallen.

10th of December 1955: official Foundation Event of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Europäischer Chorverbände AGEC and election of the first Board in Strasbourg.

The members of AGEC (national and regional choral federations from all over Europe) aimed to ensure quality by way of composition assignments, conducting courses, training and workshops. In matters concerning the development of singing culture in general, music lessons at schools, the singing among young people and the promotion of music education, AGEC played an active role. Other initiatives taken by AGEC were an annual composition prize, the formation of the EuroChoir, the EuroFestivalchoir and the edition of songbooks.

 

Former Presidents

1955 – 1971 | Dr. Paul Plugshaupt (CH)
1971 – 1980 | H.F. Brune (NL)
1980 – 1987 | Dr. Walter Weidmann (NL)
1987 – 1990 | Hans Hierck (NL)
1990 – 1996 | Bernard Stolz (CH)
1996 – 2006 | Hartmut Doppler (DE)
2006 – 2011 | Michaël Scheck (BE)

Europa Cantat – European Federation of Young Choirs

End of the 50s: a group of conductors from different European countries who had partly been soldiers in World War II met during a youth event at Loreley and discussed what would be the best way to make sure that their young singers would not want to go to war. On the model of the French festival Choralies in Vaison-la-Romaine they decided to create a festival in which the choirs would not only sing for each other, but rather participate together in different workshops. Also they would be sleeping in the same accommodation, eating together and spending their free time together, thus making friends for life.

1960: founding meeting in Geneve in 1960 and first EUROPA CANTAT festival in Passau, Germany, ending just a few days before August 13th 1961, when the wall between Western and Eastern Germany was closed.

1963: foundation of the “European Federation for Young Choirs” in Bonn (renamed later “Europa Cantat”).

Main founders:
Choral organization “À Cœur Joie” (France)
Choral organization “Arbeitskreis Musik in der Jugend” (Germany)

Main aim: to give an organisational structure to international exchange and international cooperation

Former Presidents

1961 – 1982 | François Bourel (FR)
1982 – 1994 | Marcel Corneloup (FR)
1994 – 1995 | Gilbert Martens (BE)
1995 – 2000 | Noël Minet (BE)
2000 – 2003 | Christopher Simmons (UK)
2003 – 2009 | Jeroen Schrijner (NL)

 

Former Secretaries General

1963 – 1976 | Paul Wehrle (DE)
1976 – 1982 | Christoph Kühlewein (DE)
1982 – 1985 | Herbert Saß (DE)
1985 – 1988 | Manfred Ehrhorn (DE)
1988 – 1995 | Hans-Dieter Reinecke (DE)
1995 – 1999 | Dolf Rabus (DE)
2001 – 2010 | Sonja Greiner (DE)

General Assemblies

1965: Bonn (DE)
1997: Linz (AT)
1998: Stockholm (SE)
1999: Barcelona (ES)
2000: Gent (BE)
2001: Kerekegyháza/Kunpuszta (HU)
2002: Mainz (DE)
2003: Luzern (CH)
2004: Venice (IT)
2005: Lyon (FR)
2006: Örebro (SE)
2007: Utrecht 8NL)
2008: San Sebastián (ES)
2009: Sofia (BG)
2010: Namur (BE)

 

The Merger:

On May 9th 2009 (decision by membership of AGEC) and November 14th 2009 (decision by membership of Europa Cantat – European Federation of Young Choirs) it was decided to merge the two choral organisations into one under the name of European Choral Association – Europa Cantat from January 1st 2011.

Presidents ECA-EC

2009 – 2012 | Sante Fornasier (IT)
2012 – 2018 | Gábor Móczár (HU)
2018 – today | Carlo Pavese (IT)

HONORARY PRESIDENTS:

1963 – 1972 | César Geoffray (FR)
1982 – 2004 | François Bourel (FR)

SECRETARY GENERALS:

2011 – today | Sonja Greiner (DE)

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLIES:

2011: Torino (IT)
2012: Toulouse (FR)
2013: Pécs (HU)
2014: Barcelona (ES)
2015: Helsinki (FI)
2016: Utrecht (NL)
2017: Tallinn (EE)
2018: Cappadocia (TR)
2019: Ljubljana (SI)