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Memorial set for CSUEB music lecturer, Pleasanton cellist

  • June 18, 2009

By Jeb Bing
Pleasanton Weekly Editor

A private memorial service will be held in San Francisco June 27 for Lawrence Granger, 57, of Pleasanton, who died June 14 of heart failure following surgery for a brain tumor three days earlier, it was announced yesterday.

Mr. Granger was a music department lecturer at CSUEB and an alumnus. 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 Music Department chairman and Professor Frank 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."

Mr. Granger graduated with a bachelor's degree 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.

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 La Rocca, and on the New Albion label, Cello Concerto by Peter Lewis.

"Larry was a world-class musician, and an even finer human being," said Buddy James, associate professor of music, director of choral activities and conductor of the university symphony orchestra. "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."

Mr. Granger is survived by his widow, Priscilla Carter Granger of Pleasanton; his parents, Howard and Dorothy Granger of Riverside, and a sister, Jocelyn Granger of Fremont.

The CSUEB Music Department plans a separate memorial for Mr. Granger in the fall.

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