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Professor Franz Broschek, a timpanist for many years with the Vienna Philharmonic, died in Vienna following a serious illness at the age of 88 on March 1, 2008.
Franz Broschek was born on December 14, 1919, in Salzburg, the son of Albin Broschek, a member of the Mozarteum Orchestra. Even during his first years at school, Franz Broschek was already studying music theory and piano at the Mozarteum, where his father taught timpani and percussion. After studying in Vienna for a year with Arthur Schurig, a member of the Vienna Philharmonic, he returned to Salzburg at the age of 19 to become the timpanist of the Mozarteum Orchestra. This early entrance into the musical profession hardly provided him with a calm situation for further development. On January 1, 1940, he was drafted into military service with the German Armed Forces. As a member of the 3rd Mountain Trooper Division, he had to take part in various military campaigns and was wounded thereby twice. In order to compensate for the total interruption of his musical career, Broschek employed such diligence that by October of 1945 he played a successful audition for the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Vienna Volksoper. On January 1, 1951, he became a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and in December of that same year received membership in the Vienna Philharmonic, where he served first as a percussionist and later as timpanist until his retirement on September 1, 1984.
Franz Boschek's Philharmonic career, during which he was awarded the professional title of Professor, the Silver Medal of Honor of the Republic of Austria, the Golden Medal of Service to the Province of Salzburg, and the Honorary Ring of the Vienna Philharmonic, was most closely associated with our orchestra's most well-known concert event. For many years he was at the center of the gags which augment the humour and esprit of the music of the Strauss family during the New Year's Concerts, and in this capacity he contributed greatly to the increasing popularity of these concerts during the early years of the television broadcasts, which began in 1959.