Roger Vuataz, a Swiss musician, was born on January 4, 1898 in Geneva, Switzerland, where he lived until his death on August 2, 1988. After completing secondary school studies at the Collège Calvin and studying music at the Geneva Conservatory (diploma in piano, virtuoso organ, musical culture and writing, notably with Alexandre Mottu and Otto Barblan), in 1916 he began his multidimensional career as a musician.
He was the organist of the Protestant Church of Carouge, near Geneva for 53 years, choir director (in particular, founder and head of the Maîtrise Protestante for 22 years), bell ringer at the St. Peter’s Cathedral of Geneva (from 1933 to 1943), conductor (several times in sixty years), music critic (particularly for the Journal de Genève for seven years), teacher at the Higher Conservatory of Geneva (classes on “Forms and Styles” for ten years), Roger Vuataz regularly worked on the radio, in particular as the musical director of the Radio-Genève studio for 20 years (1943 to 1963).
In addition to being a musicographer and producer of 18th century music (especially orchestrations of works by J.-S. Bach : Art of the Fugue, The Musical Offering and Canonic Variations), his main vocation was that of composer ; his catalogue contains 133 opuses, instrumentals, symphonies, concertos, vocal works, and dramatic choral pieces, many of which have been edited, played and recorded in the Americas and three other continents (see the annexed Catalogue of Works).
Roger Vuataz was president of the International Music Competition of Geneva (CIEM) for seven years (from 1962 to 1969) and was appointed music specialist at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. During that time he wrote “Discovery, Initiation and Encouragement of Individual Music Practice” (1966/67). He was awarded the Quadrennial Prize of the City of Geneva, in recognition of his musical career and was honoured with the Composer’s Prize of the Association of Swiss Musicians (1975) for the totality of his work (1967).
He was steeped in liberal, undogmatic Protestantism, making his life values and composition choices inseparable. He authored three notable oratorios : Abraham (1927), Moses (1947) and Jesus (1950), as well as great fresques such as “Geneva Open to Heaven” (1941), to the poems of Louis Piachaud, “The St-Gallois of the Nativity Game” (1954), mystery of the 13th century, “The Tragic Ones” (1975), to the poems of Agrippa d’Aubigné and “Cora” (1978/80), a lyrical tragedy written for six soloists and a symphonic orchestra.