Dr. James Richard Lerch, 87, died August 9, of natural causes.
He was born in Kanas City, Mo., to James W. Lerch and Florence Lerch.
Dr. Lerch received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Julliard School of Music, where he received a Julliard Foundation Fellowship and was concertmaster of the undergraduate and graduate Julliard Orchestras. He received his doctorate degree from the Eastman School of Music, and was a member of the Eastman String Quartet.
He was a violinist with the Carnegie Trio, the Rochester Philharmonic, and performed as a recitalist and chamber musician in concerts from New York, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Taiwan.
Dr. Lerch founded and was the first conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony. He served as Concertmaster for the Fort Worth Symphony, Akron Symphony, Martha Graham Dance Festival Orchestra and Wichita Falls Symphony.
He was Professor Emeritus of Music at North Texas University, where he served for 24 years as Professor of Violin and Coordinator of Strings. Before his tenure, he was professor of Violin at Akron University, University of Maine, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, and the Tunghai University, Taiwan.
Dr. Lerch was a member of the American String Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, Pi Kappa Lambda and Pi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and a veteran of the U.S. Army.
He will be remembered as a talented, supportive teacher, mentor and guide by his students and a positive force in their lives. Many of his former students currently perform with major symphonies within the US and abroad. He will also be remembered as a caring and loving father to his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Sylvia; his children, David and his wife Haesun, Lisa, Brian and his wife Stacy; his grandchildren, Miles, Sophia, and Tessa. He is predeceased by his parents James and Florence Lerch, and his sister Dorothy.
A memorial service will be held at UNT in September. For more information, please email: email@example.com