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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ernest T. Kretschmer: Reflections on Santa Cruz Musical Life, Volume II

  • Author(s): Regional History Project, UCSC Library
  • Regional History Project, UCSC Library
  • Kretschmer, Ernest T.
  • Reti, Irene
  • et al.

his volume was the Project's second publication on Kretschmer, a notable presence in Santa Cruz musical life for more than 30 years. In this volume, Kretschmer reflected on the significant local cultural developments of the last decade and his role in those events. He described the coming-of-age of the Santa Cruz County Symphony under maestro Larry Granger, the need of the symphony and other musical organizations for a performing arts concert hall in north county, and recent efforts to establish such a facility.

Kretschmer also discussed the Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts, the premiere cultural venue in south Santa Cruz County, which Kretschmer was instrumental in founding.

Kretschmer discusses the world-renowned Cabrillo Music Festival, which he participated in since its inception. He recalls the festival's acclaimed 1999 production of Leonard Bernstein's "Mass," and the innovative tenure of the festival's Music Director/Conductor, Marin Alsop. He also gave a lively history of Santa Cruz's New Music Works, directed by Phil Collins, which has highlighted the work of local composers, including Lou Harrison.

Kretschmer's philanthropy over the years included the donation of concert grand pianos to local venues, the establishment of music scholarships for UCSC students, the support of UCSC's resident student ensemble program, and, most recently, the establishment of a permanent endowment to enrich musical archives in the University Library's Special Collections.

Krestchmer's memoir demonstrated the importance of dedicated volunteers in local cultural organizations and how their contributions have created in our small community unusually diverse and thriving performing arts and musical organizations.

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