Eckert, Carl Anton Florian


Violinist, pianist and conductor. Was born in Potsdam and left an orphan when very young. He early showed remarkable talent, and was a protege of the poet Forster, of Berlin, who placed him under the best instructors of his time: Rechenberg and Greulich in piano; Hubert Ries and Botticher in violin; and Rungenhagen in composition. He composed an opera before he was ten and an oratorio before he was thirteen. At nineteen he became, in Leipsic, a pupil of Mendelssohn, who took great interest in him. For the next twelve years he traveled, studied and composed, in 1851 accepting the position of accompanist at the Italian Theatre in Paris. The next year he accompanied Sontag on her American tour, then returned to Paris to conduct the Italian Opera. In 1853 he became conductor, and later technical director of the Court Opera at Vienna. In 1860 he resigned this place to succeed Kucken as conductor at Stuttgart. In 1867 he retired from active professional life to Baden-Baden, whence he was called two years later to Berlin as first Court Director of Music, Taubert and Don having been pensioned to leave the post open for Eckert. As a composer, his smaller works, especially several songs, have succeeded best, his more pretentious works not fulfilling the promise of his earlier years. His operas are Das Fischer Madchen, composed 1830; and Wilhelm von Oranien, performed in Berlin, 1846, and at The Hague, 1848. He also produced a violoncello concerto; an oratorio, Judith, performed at the Singakademie in Berlin, 1841; a symphony and some church music.