1. Faculty

Jon Kretschmer

NOTE: On Sabbatical for 2018-19; Professional Development


  • Health and Wellness for the Musician


  • DPT, University of California, San Francisco / San Francisco State University
  • MM, The Juilliard School
  • BM, Indiana University, Bloomington


  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 2010–2011
  • Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, 2005–2009
  • Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, 2004–2009


  • FH Aronson Scholarship, The Juilliard School
  • Kean Fellowship and the Alumni Scholarship for Leaders in Physical Therapy, UCSF/SFSU

What is your hometown?

Lafayette, CA

What is your favorite recording?

There are so many, it is difficult to choose. The Rostropovich/NSO recording of Shostakovich 5 will always hold a special place for me, as it's the first major symphonic work that I learned back in high school. Wynton Marsalis' Eastman Wind Ensemble recording is also a major work that had a great influence on me.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

I'm passionate about patient care, first and foremost. There is nothing like helping someone to heal from an injury or to improve their function. I also love exercising, cooking foods of all different ethnicities, playing the trumpet, and playing pool.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

Back when I taught trumpet, I would repeatedly remind students that there is no such thing as failure when you're making your way up in the music world. Every moment is a learning experience and an opportunity to grow. Now I find myself saying "If it hurts, stop" a lot!

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

"Can I ask for your help?"

What was the defining moment when you decided to your career?

I was a 2nd year undergraduate at University of California, San Diego, pursuing science. I found that I was constantly skipping organic chemistry lectures to go practice, and I knew at that point I needed to give the trumpet thing a shot. I decided to go into physical therapy because I became passionate about the healing arts and wanted to give back to the music industry by helping people to learn about the body and how to avoid injuries.

What was a turning point in your career?

I suffered an overuse injury while playing for the Baltimore Symphony. After I recovered and played another full year, I began being more and more intellectually curious about the body and healing. That experience introduced me to physical therapy, and I fell in love.

What is your daily practice routine?

When I played a lot, it incorporated lots of long tones, expanding scales, and air flow exercises. I wish I could go back and tell myself, "You don't need to warm up so much, just start playing!"

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Mahler, Beethoven, and John Williams (it's just so fun!)

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

It's tough to avoid saying Vienna at the turn of the 19th century, the time period when Beethoven was churning out his masterworks like the Eroica, defining the next century of compositional direction.

What are your most important collaborations?

Working with Dr. Nancy Byl at UCSF and studying musicians and their medical concerns has been a life-changing experience. She is a world expert who has been treating musicians for decades and I have learned so much from her. Musically, I co-founded Kalamazoo Brass while living in Michigan and that was a tremendous musical and creative outlet.

Who are some students you have had the privilege of teaching?

Matthew Garza comes to mind, who plays in the Air Force out in Fairfield now. I have many students back from my days in Kalamazoo who have gone on to tremendous careers in and out of music. There are too many to name.

What is your unrealized project?

Opening a physical therapy clinic at SFCM devoted solely to the treatment and rehabilitation of injured and ailing students.