Architect and jazz pianist Geo Voumard, co-writer of the first ever Eurovision song Contest winner among other Swiss entries, died last Wednesday at the age of 87. Mr Voumard will be remembered in the Eurovision community mostly as the composer of Refrain which won the first Eurovision Song Contest, performed by Lys Assia.
Geo Voumard, together with Emile Gardaz, were behind no less than four Eurovision Song Contest entries, the first winner ever among them. They composed Refrain, winner of the first contest in 1956, L'enfant que j'etais, also performed by Lys Assia in 1957, Nous aurons demain by Franca di Rienzo in 1961 and T'en va pas by Esther Ofarim in 1963.
Mr Voumard started his career as an architect before he was won over by music. He worked at former Radio Lausanne, RSR today, starting as pianist, composer and producer and finishing his career 31 years later as Director of light entertainment. He was the co-founder of the best known music festival in Switzerland, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, which, despite its name, today attracts many mega stars from all kinds of music genres from all over the world. Nana Mouscouri, Joan Baez, Quincy Jones, Deep Purple, Gary Moore and Alicia Keys were some of the stars performing in this year's edition held in July.
Lys Assia Refrain