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Larry (L) with the New Japan Philharmonic under the direction of Hiroyuki Iwaki (R). About 30 seconds after this still was taken, Iwaki sensei broke the violin over Larry's head.

Larry Retzack

Colton High School
39960 Tinderbox Way
Murrieta, California 92562, USA

951-894-4672 (H)
951-296-8108 (cell)
909-580-5005 x 2343 (W)
951-894-4672 (fax)


What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

I think a vital question is what is the force that leads to Paul Harvey stories like the 10-year old kid who lifts a car that has fallen on his father? There seems to be an amorphous something that gives us incredible abilities/powers when dire circumstances demand.

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

I've experienced something like this twice in my life: both times in symphony orchestras. First in the Ohio University Symphony when the group was rehearsing Mendelssohn's Fifth - the Reformation. In undergrad, the lead trombone part was so far beyond me that my teacher had to play it. Somehow, at that incredible rehearsal in Athens, I zoned and got everything right. I've never played that well before or since. What makes things like that happen?

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

The second time something like that happened was in a rehearsal with the NW Michigan Symphony doing Tchaikovsky's 5th. Unbeknownest to the conductor or any other members of the group, Henry Charles Smith, then principal trombonist of the Philadelphia Symphony, had joined the group surreptitiously and the playing ability of the whole symphony improved so much that the director stopped, non-plussed, wanting to know what was going on.

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

My first love is playing serious chamber music and I've been part of musical ensembles over 50 years. There's something about the precision, intensity, camaraderie of a world class musical ensemble that is way more than the sum of its parts. From playing sackbut/recorder in the Chicago Early Music Ensemble to trombone in the U of Michigan Wind Ensemble, I've enjoyed playing in some superior groups.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

I'm available via online or snail-mail USPS for communication any time. If nothing else, I like to think I'm fairly good at offering a sympathetic ear, a welcoming shoulder on which to cry, vent, or whatever.

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