Justice Minister Brandstetter’s Special Mission in the Service of the Arts

Following his official visit to Washington, DC, Austrian Federal Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter stopped by in Connecticut to pay a visit to the 92-year-old film producer Eric Pleskow. He was accompanied by Christine Moser, Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and Georg Heindl, Austrian Consul General in New York.

Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter, Eric Pleskow, ACFNY Director Christine Moser, Consul General Georg Heindl.  Photo: Twitter/ @christinemoser7

Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter, Eric Pleskow, ACFNY Director Christine Moser, Consul General Georg Heindl. 
Photo: Twitter/ @christinemoser7

As former president of the film studios United Artists and Orion Pictures, Mr. Pleskow produced numerous Academy Award winning films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall, Amadeus, Dances with Wolves, or The Silence of Lambs. Since 1998, he has been president of the Vienna International Film Festival in his native home town.

Moving on to Los Angeles California, Minister Brandstetter had a meeting with the 96-year-old exile composer Walter Arlen at the residence of Austrian Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger at the very place where the minister first got acquainted with Arlen a year ago. In this respect, Minister Brandstetter is committed to organizing a concert of works by Walter Arlen in Austria during 2017, as he deeply cares about Austrians who had fled the Nazi regime - in addition to his passion for music.

From left: Barbara Zeisl-Schönberg, Michael Brandstetter, Howard Meyers, Walter Arlen, Lawrence Schönberg, Yvonne Jurmann, Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger, Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter, Anne Wirth-Schönberg, Ronald Schönberg Photo: Austrian Consulate General Los Angeles

From left: Barbara Zeisl-Schönberg, Michael Brandstetter, Howard Meyers, Walter Arlen, Lawrence Schönberg, Yvonne Jurmann, Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger, Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter, Anne Wirth-Schönberg, Ronald Schönberg
Photo: Austrian Consulate General Los Angeles

Thus, the guest list of the evening included - besides Arlen and his partner Howard Meyers - the two sons of composer Arnold Schönberg, Ronald (a retired judge) and Lawrence (a retired math professor), their wives, i.e. the German philologist Barbara Zeisl-Schönberg and Anne Wirth-Schönberg (Belmont Music Publishers) respectively, as well as Yvonne Jurmann, the wife of the late Austrian composer Walter Jurmann.

Prof. Brandstetter was accompanied by his son, the composer Michael Brandstetter. Since his graduation from the University of Southern California, Michael Brandstetter has been working for “Romote Control Productions", the film score company run by renowned German film composer Hans Zimmer.

Composer Walter Arlen, Minister Wolgang Brandstetter, Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger Photo: Austrian Consulate General Los Angeles

Composer Walter Arlen, Minister Wolgang Brandstetter, Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger
Photo: Austrian Consulate General Los Angeles