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Monday, 12. May 2014

Obituary - Ruthild Sondermann

We mourn the loss of Ruthild, the "soul" of our office

On May 5th 2014, our former staff member Ruthild Sondermann passed away almost two years after having been diagnosed with cancer. Ruthild worked for Europa Cantat and later the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat from July 2000 until July 2012 when she fell ill just before leaving for the EUROPA CANTAT festival in Torino, and she was officially a staff member until the end of 2013.

Ruthild became office manager of Europa Cantat, as it was then called, in July 2000, just before the EUROPA CANTAT festival in Nevers. She quickly felt at home in the world of choral singing in Europe, investing a lot of time and energy to do a great job and help whenever possible. She was the "soul" of our office, dealing with all the people who wanted and needed something from us, introducing students and volunteers to their work, and connecting Sonja, who was new to Bonn, to a lot of people and businesses in the region. She was also the main contact for our members and always enjoyed the opportunity to meet them "in person" at the General Assemblies or the festivals. 

Ruthild loved to work with people, and she had a big heart. She was also a little “different”, finding her own ways and beliefs and her own style. She questioned traditions and rules and could be passionate about political and human issues. She was a loyal friend, sister and colleague, always there if others were in trouble. During her illness she showed a remarkable strength and openness that impressed all those who met her during these difficult times.

Ruthild shall greatly be missed in our office and in the choral world. Our condolences also go to her son Lukas and to her brothers and sisters and their families.

You will find a more detailed obituary including memories sent by present and former Board members and others who worked with Ruthild >> here and an online condolence page  >> here, where you can read more about Ruthild and also leave your personal message  (Please read the "Instructions" on the page). On this condolence page you will also find pictures and music reminding us of Ruthild, as well as the text read at the funeral service and the speech by Jeroen Schrijner, former President of Europa Cantat (only in German) and the card from the family (Ruthild's son Lukas and her brothers and sisters) thanking the "Europa Cantat community" for their sympathy >> here.