In Memoriam: Frank Retzel

Friday, December 21, 2018 11:24 AM

Dear friends,

I am sorry to have to report that Frank Retzel, fine composer and long-standing member of New York Composers Circle, has passed away.  His wife, Kathy, called me this afternoon.  He passed in his sleep some time on the night of the 18th.  

Frank is someone who I met years back but who I mainly got to know on the phone the past year, as we prepared to have movements from his Sapphire Cantos played by Claudia Dumschat on the coming organ concert, February 12.  The music will be heard now with a heavy heart, but it will be heard.  Cathy will attend. 

He was always gracious and eager in conversations—knowledgeable, very opinionated, and very, very funny.  I will greatly miss his friendship.  I’m aware that there’ll be many reading this who knew Frank far better than I ever had a chance to.  My heart goes out to you in your loss.  

Also there’s no mistake that to have Claudia play his work was something he looked dearly forward to, so highly did he esteem her musicianship.  I am sad that he will not hear the performance he so treasured. Though—what do we know—maybe he will hear it after all.  

David Mecionis