Gerard Mortier - In Memoriam

11 March 2014

On Sunday 9 March 2014, the renowned Belgian opera director Gerard Mortier has died at the age of 70 after battling cancer. It is with great sadness that we, at the European Festivals Association, have learned about Gerard Mortier’s passing away. His death leaves a gap for each of us who had the privilege of knowing him and having been able to work with him.

Gerard Mortier was a leading figure at a number of institutions during his career: he was the artistic director of Madrid's Teatro Real opera house until September last year; general director of the Paris Opera from 2004-2009; artistic director of the Salzburg Festival from 1991-2001; and general director of Belgium's La Monnaie/De Munt Opera for a decade from 1981, to name but a few.

We remember one of the last moments we could meet Mr Mortier in October 2012, when he gave an inspiring lecture at the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Ljubljana and exchanged with the young festival managers. “We are not living in a crisis. We are living in an important moment of human history,” he said. His message for the young festival managers was: “Go your own way”.

With great gratitude for everything he has done we oblige ourselves to keep his heritage alive. With our repeated deepest condolences,

Darko Brlek
President European Festivals Association

Kathrin Deventer
Secretary General European Festivals Association

On behalf of the EFA Board and EFA members.