Vuataz, Roger

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Vuataz, Roger

Vuataz, Roger, distinguished Swiss organist, conductor, broadcasting administrator, and composer; b. Geneva, Jan. 4, 1898; d. Chêne-Bougeries, Aug. 2, 1988. He studied at the Collège Calvin and pursued musical training at the Academy of Music and at the Cons, in Geneva, his principal mentors being Délaye, Mottu, and O. Barbián. He later studied Ondes Martenot in Paris (diploma, 1931) and attended the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in Geneva (rhythm dipoloma, 1936). Vuataz’s career was centered on Geneva, where he served as an organist of the Protestant Reformed Church from 1917 to 1978. He was founder-director of the Cathedral Choir (1940-60). From 1944 to 1964 he was head of the music dept. of Radio Geneva. From 1961 to 1971 he taught at the Geneva Cons. He was president of the International Music Competition from 1962 to 1969, and also of the Vines singing competition in Barcelona from 1963 to 1978. In 1967 he was awarded the music prize of the City of Geneva. In 1975 the Assn. of Swiss Musicians gave him its composer’s prize. Vuataz’s music was well crafted and displayed the influence of the Protestant Reformed tradition in his sacred scores.


dramatic: Le Rhône,ballet (1929); Poème méditerranéen pour un ballet (1938-50); Monsieur Jabot,opera-buffa (1957; Geneva, Nov. 28, 1958); Solitude,ballet (1962); L’Esprit du Mal,lyric drama (1967); Cora, Amour et Mort,lyric tragedy (1978-80); radiophonie pieces; film music. ORCH.: Triptyque (1929-2); Petit Concertfor Small Orch. (1932); Deuxième Suite sur des Thèmes populairesfor Strings (1937); Images de Grèce,sym. (1938); Nocturne héroïquefor Trumpet and Orch. (1940; also for Trumpet and Piano); Impromptufor Saxophone and Orch. (1941; also for Saxophone and Piano); Promenade et Poursuitefor Bassoon and Orch. (1943; also for Bassoon and Piano); Epopée antique,2 suites (1947, 1951); Violin Concerto (1948); Cinq Estampes genevoises (1959); Ouverture pour Phèdre (1959); Piano Concerto (1963-64); Harp Concerto, Fantaisies I-IIÏ (1972); Les Tragiques,sym. for Reciter and Orch. (1974-75); Cello Concerto, Images poétiques et pathétiques (1977). CHAMBER: Cello Sonata (1928); 2 suites for Ondes Martenot (1930); Violin Sonatina (1933-34); Musiquefor Wind Quintet (1935-65); Nocturne et Dansefor Alto Saxophone and Piano (1940: Nocturne héroïquefor Trumpet and Piano (1940; also for Trumpet and Orch.); Impromptufor Saxophone and Piano (1941; also for Saxophone and Orch.); Promenade et poursuitefor Bassoon and Piano (1943; also for Bassoon and Orch.); Frivolitésfor Sextet (1952); Incantationfor Alto Saxophone and Piano (1953); Flute Sonata (1954-57); Destinfor Saxophone, Harp, and Percussion (1954-79); Thrènefor Horn and Piano (1960); Balladefor Viola and Piano (1960); String Quartet (1966-70); Quatre Conversations avec Bachfor Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, and Clarinet (1966-83); Plaintes et Ramagesfor Oboe and Piano (1971); Nocturnes I-IIIfor Cello (1974); Elegie et Dansefor Flute (1978); Méditation sur BACHfor Violin (1985). P i a n o : 2 sonatas (Sonate française,1937; Variations- Sonate,1956-59, rev. 1978); Rhapsodie sur trois thèmes grecsfor 2 Pianos (1937-59); Trois Sonatines (1962-63). VOCAL: Huit Poèmes d’Orientfor Soprano and Orch. or Piano (1922-66); La Flûte de Roseau,motet for Children’s, Women’s, and Men’s Choruses (1937); Genève ouverte au cielfor Tenor, Narrator, Children’s, Men’s, and Women’s Choruses, and Orch. (194CM1); Grande Liturgiefor Men’s Chorus (1943); Quatre Rondeaux de Charles d’Orléansfor Soprano and Orch. or Piano (1944-61); Le Temps de vivrefor Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1944-66); Jésus,oratorio for Vocal Quintet, Narrator, Double Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1949-50); Cantate de Psaumesfor Men’s Chorus and 21 Instruments (1954); Motet poétiquefor Men’s Chorus (1974); Huit Villanellesfor Soprano, Baritone, and Piano (1982); Sechs Liederfor Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1983).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire