Selberg Pages (38)
See More >
Selberg Mentions
See More >

John Ryan Selberg

Obituary Condolences

John Ryan Selberg Obituary
1946 ~ 2013
John Ryan Selberg, 66, passed away at his home on Sunday, July 14, 2013, shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
Ryan was born September 29, 1946, in Los Angeles, California, to John Peter and Helen Mildred (Kendall) Selberg.He began playing cello in fifth grade after his teacher denied his first choices, trumpet and drums, and offered him an available cello. Ryan played in his school's orchestra while taking private lessons. His first teacher claimed Ryan had absolutely no talent whatever, but his mother didn't believe this assessment and found another teacher, Patricia Thompson Pinkston. He studied with Pinkston and Joseph di Tullio and graduated from the University of California Los Angeleswith a BA in Music Performance.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Ryan spent two and a half seasons with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, and worked as a freelance musician in Hollywood. Before moving to Utah, Ryan spent three years as principal cellist of the Edmonton Symphony in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where he also taught and performed at Alberta College, the University of Alberta, and the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Ryan was appointed Principal Cello of the Utah Symphony in 1975 by Maestro Maurice Abravanel, and completed his 38thseason shortly before his death.In addition to his duties as principal cellist, Ryan was an active recitalist and chamber musician and was often a featured soloist with the Utah Symphony. He spent fourteen years on the faculty of the University of Utah, and continued to teach privately. From 1997 through 2003, he was artist-in-residence at the Black Glove Cello Festival in St. George. In recent years, Ryan has been a featured artist at the Deer Valley Music Festival.
While music was Ryan's passion, he had many other hobbies, including woodworking, photography, and golf, and was active in his church. He was also a lifelong outdoorsman. He first climbed Half Dome in Yosemite as a teenager, and continued to enjoy hiking, camping, and fishing with his sons, particularly during their time in Boy Scouts. He always enjoyed the opportunities provided by Symphony tours to explore and photograph local landscapes.
Ryan is survived by Joy, his wife of 43 years, as well as his sons and their wives: Erik and his wife Mary Kathryn (Rodgers), of Seattle, and Scott and his wife Tonya (Van Santen), of Santa Rosa, CA. Ryan had five beloved grandchildren, in whom he took great delight: Laura, John, Charlie, Ty, and Johanna.He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Selberg Sarna,of Las Vegas, NV; his brother Steve Selberg, of Los Angeles, CA; his sister-in-law, Gayle Erbele and her husband Jim, of Olympia, WA; many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and countless friends. He also leaves behind his faithful collie, Ciara. He was predeceased by his parents.
A service commemorating Ryan's life will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 12 C Street, Salt Lake City, on Sunday, July 21, 2013, beginning at 4 p.m.
Inlieu of flowers, Ryan's family asks that donations be directed to the Utah Symphony (www.utahsymphony.org/support), so that they can continue to share the music that Ryan so loved.
Memories and condolences can be shared with Ryan's family at www.larkinmortuary.com.

Published in Salt Lake Tribune from July 17 to July 21, 2013
Read More