For almost two years now the Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world and has governed our lives in a manner that we could hardly have imagined before. The work of our Society, too, has been affected by these adverse circumstances, so that we were forced to cancel the international Heinrich-Schütz-Fest that had been planned for 1-4 July 2021 in Wolfenbüttel. At least we were able to hold our requisite general meeting on 6 October 2021 in Kassel. Because it became apparent early on that only a few members would be able to participate in this meeting, the Council decided to put only the basic formalities on the agenda, so that potentially contentious issues will be voted on when a larger number of members can be present. The most important item at the general meeting was the scheduled new election of the Council and the Advisory Council of our Society. Prof. Dr. Walter Werbeck, who led the ISG for many years as President and has continued to serve on the Council over the past three years, retired from the Council of his own volition. Fortunately we will still be able to draw on his expertise, since he stood for election to the Advisory Council, to which he was duly elected. In the Advisory Council he takes the place of Prof. Dr. Gerd Aumüller, a long-serving member who also retired of his own volition. On behalf of the whole Society we would like to thank both of them for their long-standing service.
Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer was elected as a new member of the Council. He is Professor for historical musicology at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen. Dr. Jutta Schmoll-Bartel, Dr. Jürgen Heidrich and myself were confirmed as continuing members of the Council. On the Advisory Council, Friederike Böcher, Roderich Kreile, Dr. Vera Lüpkes, Dr. Peter Schmitz, Dr. Bettina Varwig and Prof. Dr. Barbara Wiermann were confirmed as continuing members. On behalf of the Society I thanked the members of the Council and the Advisory Council for their candidature and am looking forward to working with them. At the general meeting I also had to announce with great regret the sad news of the death of two of our valued members.
In March 2021 our honorary member Wilhelm Kempff passed away in Stockholm at the age of 96, and in August 2021 Klaus von Delft passed away, who was one of the co-founders of the South African Schütz Society in 1969 and served as its director for 46 years.
Wilhelm Kempff and Klaus von Delft were closely associated with our Society over many years and made valuable contributions to the cultivation of the music of Heinrich Schütz. On behalf of our Society I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to their families and would like to let them know that we shall honour the memory of Wilhelm Kempff and Klaus von Delft and continue our work in their spirit.
From Sweden we received the news that Hilding Egestål, who served as director of the Swedish section of our Society for many years, retired from his office, and that the renowned conductor Stefan Parkman has taken over from him. We would like to use this opportunity to thank Hilding Egestål for his long-standing work. The Swedish section has surely found a worthy successor in Mr. Parkman.
We recently received a brief report from Derek Stauff, who heads our North American section, about the activities of this section, which I am delighted to include here as an attachment. I hope that the representatives of other sections will also send us reports of their activities, so that we can keep our members informed about them.
Although any future planning remains difficult in these uncertain times, the Council and Advisory Council are continuing to work on future projects of our Society.
On 25 May 2022, the 450th birthday of Landgrave Moritz von Hessen, we are planning a commemorative event to remember the man who discovered and promoted our namesake. On 27-30 October 2022, also in Kassel, we are planning to hold the international Heinrich-Schütz-Fest in collaboration with the Kasseler Musiktage. On the initiative of Heidi and Wilhelm Holzapfel, who are known to our members as loyal friends of our Society with close ties to Poland, we are planning to hold an international Heinrich-Schütz-Fest in Krakow on 21-24 September 2023. For autumn 2024 plans are afoot to rerun the Heinrich-Schütz-Fest in Lemgo that had been cancelled in 2020.
We very much hope that all these plans can be realised and that we will all be able to meet again next year at an event of our Society.
I would like to wish all members of the ISG a peaceful advent season, merry Christmas and all the very best for the coming year 2022.