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Thursday, 8. January 2015

Obituary Roger Motz

Roger Motz with Gottfried Wolters at the official founding General Assembly of the European Federation of Young Choirs in Bonn in 1963

Roger Motz, who would have turned 95 next February, passed away on January 5th in Paris after a long illness. He was one of the founders of the European Federation of Young Choirs – later European Cantat and then European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (ECA-EC). As representative of the French choral association A Coeur Joie he was on the Board of the association from the beginning and was its deputy Secretary General for several years, starting in 1969. And he made a moving speech with Gottfried Wolters at the first EUROPA CANTAT Festival in Passau, telling the singers that they had found out they had been fighting in the war on the two sides of the border, but were now friends and considered Europe their new home. He was involved in the federation and the festivals until the middle of the 1980ies and last visited the EUROPA CANTAT festival in Nevers in 2000.

You can send your condolences for his family to his wife:

Denyse Motz

7, square de Versailles

78160 Marly le Roi

Tel : +33 1 39587277


The current Secretary General of ECA-EC met Roger when she was a pupil and singing in the French-German choir in Paris conducted by Christoph Kühlewein, one of the former Secretary Generals of ECA-EC - a choir in which Roger also sang for many years. Christoph Kühlewein looks back at the time when he met and worked with Roger.


Roger Motz is dead

Who, among all those who experienced him after 1960 in the founding and youth years of EUROPA CANTAT, could have forgotten him? His tall figure, always accompanied by his wife because of his blindness, stood for authority and trust. As Deputy Secretary General of the then “European Federation of Young Choirs” he was always in the centre of activities, at the singing weeks as well as at the EUROPA CANTAT festivals which he strongly helped to shape.

When after the festival in Leicester in 1979 the author of these lines together with the unforgotten Claude Tagger took over the General Secretariat from Paul Wehrle, who recently passed away, Roger was a huge help to Claude and to me, the younger of the two.

I will never forget his faithful and deep friendship, his marvelous memory, his helpfulness, his presence. Without Roger Motz today’s EUROPA CANTAT could not be so proud of its excellent development which it made throughout the years, also with Roger’s help.

Roger Motz died on January 5th – we bow in reverence to him. Our sympathy goes to his wife Denyse and to his children.

Christoph Kühlewein