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History of AGEC

During the Tiroler Sängerfest of 1952 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. In 1954 they proclaimed in St. Gallen the foundation of a West European Union of Singers. The official Foundation Event of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Europäischer Chorverbände AGEC and the election of the first Präsidium (board) took place in Strasbourg on the 10th of December 1955. Since then AGEC consequently used the various abilities of choir singing in order to bring people and nations together. 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 amongst 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. 
History of Presidents of AGEC

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

The origins of Europa Cantat

Passau (DE) 1961

Main founders                 

Choral organization "A Cœur Joie" (France) 

Choral organization "Arbeitskreis Musik in der Jugend" (Germany) 

Main aims        

to give an organizational structure to international exchange and          

international cooperation which was the focus of their activities                            

First meeting: May 15th1960 in Geneva, Switzerland 

First activity: Festival EUROPA CANTAT I in Passau, Germany, 1961, 
   69 groups from 12 countries 

Official foundation: February 9th 1963 as an association 
   according to German laws, registered under number VR 2791 at Vereinsregister Bonn 

Name of association at foundation:  "European Federation of Young Choirs" 

History of Presidents: 

†François Bourel (FR, 1961-1982), †Marcel Corneloup (FR, 1982-1994), 
†Gilbert Martens (BE, 1994-1995), Noël Minet (BE, 1995-2000)
 Christopher Simmons (GB, 2000-2003), Jeroen Schrijner (NL, 2003 -  2009), Sante Fornasier (IT, 2009 - 2012), Gábor Móczár (2012 - )

Honorary Presidents: 

César Geoffray (FR, 1963 - 1972), †François Bourel (FR, 1982-2004)  

Secretary Generals: 

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


>> Here you will find an overview on the over 50-year-history of Europa Cantat - European Federation of Young Choirs

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.

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 (NL)

2008: San Sebastián (ES)

2009: Sophia (BG)

2010: Namur (BE)

2011: Torino (IT)

2012: Toulouse (FR)

2013: Pécs (HU)

2014: Barcelona (ES)

2015: Helsinki (FI)

2016: Utrecht (NL)

2017: Tallinn (EE)

2018: Cappadocia (TR)