Death of a New York agent

The Thea Dispeker agency has announced the death of Larry Wasserman, who retired in 2006 after 40 years with the company, the last eight years as its president. Larry was 82.

His artists included Martina Arroyo, Judith Blegen, Barbara Bonney, Faye Robinson, Richard Leech, Håkan Hagegård, D’Anna Fortunato, Wendy White and more…

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  • Larry was a true gentleman and a wonderful, thoughtful manager.
    During my years at CAMI, we collaborated on a number of projects, and when I left management, I knew that I could count on Larry for an honest appraisal of his artists for the projects I would be calling about. I will miss him as a friend, and already miss him as a colleague

  • I agree 100% with Mr. Tucker. Larry Wasserman was one of the best in our business, a pleasure to work with and someone who gave equal attention to the very smallest budget organizations as well as the majors. (That is rare in this business.) He had a weekend house just down the road from Tanglewood. Every October he would call me and say: “Why don’t you visit for the weekend? I need someone to rake the leaves.” He’d invite me again in February: “I need someone to shovel the snow.” I will miss him.

  • Larry Wasserman was one of the first managers I met when I entered this business, and he treated me like an old friend from day one. He was generous, urbane, funny, sincere, sympathetic, and a bottomless well of free-flowing knowledge and honest information about singers and roles. In 1992 the Pittsburgh Symphony with Lorin Maazel presented a concert version of Fidelio at Carnegie Hall. Larry called and tipped me off to some vocal problems recently troubling the bass Maazel had me hire to sing Rocco. Sure enough, when Rocco lost his voice in Act I at Carnegie, Larry’s designated cover was sitting in the audience and went on to sing Act II beautifully. That event added one more to the huge collection of amazing stories he loved to tell. RIP to the self-proclaimed “Prince Charles of the Music Business.” Those who knew him for a long time will understand the reference.

  • Larry was one of the kindest, most generous and most knowledgeable gentlemen I ever knew. During one of my earliest weekend stays at his Tanglewood “manse,” he took me to various shops to pick up pre-ordered soup, bread, entrees and dessert for English friends who would be coming for Sunday brunch. Over the delicious meal, the wife of the visiting couple was ecstatic in her praise of the food, and asked Larry if she could have the recipes. “No,” he said, “but, I will be happy to give you the phone numbers.” He will be missed by all whose paths he crossed.

  • Cannot agree more with everybody who wrote here. Larry was a real Mensch!! The witty, kind, always helpful. What a loss!! An era is coming to an end, so sad. I knew Larry for years and always enjoyed his hospitality, sense of humor and wonderful feel for artistry, his honesty and optimism.

    He will be greatly missed! New York and the music world at large lost yet another legend!

  • Re: Bob Moir’s “Prince Charles” reference….when Thea Dispeker finally retired (at around age 90 I think) and sold Larry the business, I sent him this note: “Congratulations. You had the world’s longest apprenticeship!”

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