It is with great sadness that we report the passing of longtime ISCM legal counsel and ISCM Honorary Member Franz Eckert on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at the age of 86. Dr. Eckert served as the ISCM’s legal counsel from 1971 to 2015. He was elected an ISCM Honorary Member for the great value of his work for ISCM in 2001.
Born in Lower Austria, on November 14, 1931, Eckert studied law in Vienna and from 1961 worked as a commercial lawyer in Baden. In addition to being an internationally reputed lawyer, he was a musician, a social activist, a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church serving at the Klein-Mariazell Basilica, and a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He worked as a lawyer in a family business which was one of Austria’s most prominent law firms. He also participated in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon for the European Union and was the former European Commissioner in the General Secretariat of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference. In addition to his work for the ISCM, Eckert worked on behalf of many other musical organizations including Jeunesse Musicales, the Austrian Section of the ISCM, and the Alban Berg Foundation for which he served on the board of directors. ISCM Executive Committee Member Anna Dorota Władyczka has shared the following reminiscence:
Professor Eckert was a colourful and versatile figure. The first time I met him was at the ISCM World Music Days in Oslo in 1990. This was my first festival and General Assembly of the ISCM. As the first delegate of the Polish Section, I was honoured to re-nominate Dr. Franz Eckert as a candidate for the ISCM Legal Counsel and he was re-elected. This is how we commenced our acquaintance, which soon evolved into a friendship which lasted for many years. I can remember many meetings with Franz and his family. Special places were Warsaw, Mexico City, Essen, Yokohama (where he was elected an ISCM Honorary Member), Slovenia, his family home in Alland, and Wroclaw. Some memories have thankfully been saved in photos, many of which are on Facebook.
A memorial mass will take place on Thursday, November 23, 2017 and a requiem with subsequent burial on Friday, November 24, 2017 at the Klein-Mariazell Basilica in Austria.