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Lawrence Granger

Memorial set for CSUEB Music alumnus, lecturer Lawrence Granger

  • June 17, 2009

Lawrence Granger, California State University, East Bay Music Department lecturer and alumnus, died June 14 of heart failure following surgery for a brain tumor three days earlier. He was 57 and a resident of Pleasanton.

A memorial will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 27 in the Wattis Room of the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall (musician’s entrance on Hayes Street), 201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco 94102.

Mr. Granger graduated with a BA in music in 1975, and while a student, won the principal cello position with the Oakland Symphony.  In 1979 he won a chair with the San Francisco Symphony and continued to perform with them until his hospitalization.

His principal teachers included Allen Gove, Bonnie Hampton and Michael Grebanier.  He was a frequent concertizer with the symphony’s Chamber Music Sundaes, as well as performing concerti with various orchestras throughout Northern California.  In addition to standard repertoire, he had a special interest in promoting and performing contemporary works for cello.  

Mr. Granger recorded for several films at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, and for many radio and television commercials.  His recordings also include the CRI label’s Secret Thoughts, a piece written for him by Music Department chair and professor, Frank La Rocca, and on the New Albion label, Cello Concerto by Peter Lewis.

He joined the university's music faculty as cello instructor in 1990 and was a prominent performer on faculty recitals and departmental concerts.  

“Larry was one of the greatest supporters the Music Department ever had and one of our most distinguished alumni ever,” said La Rocca. “All who knew him loved his good humor, quick wit and warm personality. This is a great loss to the department and the entire Bay Area musical community.”

“Larry was a world-class musician, and an even finer human being. He was the living model of what our students can become with hard work and a great attitude. He has left an indelible mark on all of us lucky to make music with him,” said Buddy James, associate professor of music, and director of choral activities and conductor of the university symphony orchestra.

“He exhibited tireless dedication and devotion to his students and the department and, without hesitation, volunteered his time on numerous occasions to coach and to help with student recruitment in the public schools. To say that Larry gave more than he received would be a vast understatement,” said department secretary and close friend, Mariko Abe.

He is survived by his widow, Priscilla Carter Granger of Pleasanton, his parents, Howard and Dorothy Granger of Riverside CA; and sister Jocelyn Granger of Fremont. Those wishing to make a donation should contact mariko.abe@csueastbay.edu

The Music Department will present a concert in memory of Mr. Granger at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26 in the Music Building, room 1055. Call 510-885-3167 for information.

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