Meet the Musician: Flute/Piccolo John Lagerquist


Where did you grow up? Did you come from a musical family?

I grew up in Costa Mesa, California in a musical family.  My parents are both pianists although neither of them ever worked as such.  My father is a composer as well.  By the time I graduated from high school I knew most of what one usually gets from a bachelors degree and my Dad and I had given public performances of much of the standard repertory for flute and piano.  My kid brother plays horn and builds clavichords.

What is your position in the orchestra and when did you join?

My position with the KCOHO  is piccoloist/ second or third flute (as determined by orchestration).  I joined in 1984.

What has been your most memorable musical experience at the KCOHO?

Over my 33 years with KCOHO there have been many great moments.  Chief amongst them have been performances of Wagner and Strauss with Heinz Fricke.  Mozart with Daniel Barenboim and most recently WNO’s Ring cycle also were great.

What made you decide to play flute and where did you do your musical studies?

Neither of my parents succeeded in getting me enthused about the piano.  But the first time I heard an orchestra live I knew where I belonged.  In the 5th grade the junior high band director visited our elementary school, to recruit students.  I asked my parents if I could join the band and they decided to give me a second chance.  Dad came home from work one day with a rental flute.  I never looked back.  My folks arranged for me to study with the best people in Los Angeles.  The “best people in Los Angeles” were Roger Stevens and Rowland Moritz of the L.A Philharmonic, and Luella Howard and Archie Wade of 20th Century Fox studios.  I was good enough by my senior year of High School (1968) to get into The U.S. Army Band at Ft.Myer.  After three years in the army I attended Hartt College if Music for a couple of years, where I was a pupil of John Wummer, (formerly of the NY Philharmonic). I did not finish.  My one academic credential is a high school diploma.  I have been playing for my supper ever since.

                   John in his shop.

You run your own flute repair business. Tell us about that.

I have been repairing flutes and piccolos as Lagerquist Flute Service, inc. since 1980.  While I am largely self-taught,  I have been fortunate to have had two mentors ( Paul Covey, master oboe maker, and Robert Sheldon, curator of the Daton Miller collection at the Library of Congress). I provide factory authorized service for Haynes, Powell, Brannen and Murumatsu .  I provide technical support to players of all ages and abilities.

           John Bringing up a dent

Is there anything else you like to do outside of music?

Outside of work I am passionate about Yoga.