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Home / Member / Robert Werner

Robert Werner, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, retired at the end of June 2000. During the fifteen years of his deanship he made an outstanding and highly significant contribution, not only to his university, but to the international world of music education. His remarkable achievements at Cincinnati alone exemplify the foresight of those who recognised early in Robert Werner's career that here was one of the most enlightened people in music and performance education. But, not only has Cincinnati been the beneficiary of Bob's outstanding gifts. Many organisations and institutions have benefited from his wisdom and leadership and we are indeed fortunate in ISME that he was willing to give to the Society so freely of his time and talents. Our Honorary President, Sir Frank Callaway, comments, "I first met Dr Robert Werner in August 1969 when he was guest speaker at the Australian UNESCO Seminar in Queensland, Australia on Music in Tertiary Education and the first annual conference of the Australian Society for Music Education. To the programmes of both of these historic events in our country Dr Werner contributed significantly as the newly appointed Director of the Contemporary Music Project supported by the Ford Foundation. His distinguished leadership of that remarkable project led to it having a marked affect on music education in many countries and to Dr Werner beginning his long association with ISME".

This long and dedicated associated with ISME has included membership of the Board of ISME from 1977, Vice President (in which position he presided at the 1982 Bristol Conference), President (1982-1984) and Honorary Treasurer (1984-1997). During his time as treasurer Robert Werner was successful in negotiating considerable financial support from the music industry for ISME's work and, in the words of Professor John Ritchie, former President and Secretary General of ISME, "enlivened the scene wherever he has gone and provided direction, imagination and steadiness in implementing policy and promoting innovation. He possesses that irresistible combination of clear-thinking efficiency and quiet enthusiasm based on perceiving potential initiatives rather than reacting to specific problems. His personal creativity has been the basis of a life's work in the service of others, a service garnished by the warm friendship he has bestowed on those who have been privileged to be associated with him".

It is in acknowledgement of these outstanding qualities and with profound gratitude that the International Society for Music Education confers upon Robert Werner Honorary Life Membership.