Irving Coretz was born on December 6, 1920 in Rockford, Illinois. Born to a mother and father with a deep appreciation of music, at a young age and in the midst of the country's deep Depression, Irv would get out of school early in Rockford and take a bus ride 90 miles to Chicago for piano lessons. In the early years, Irv played both French horn as well as piano. After playing Greig's Concerto at his high school graduation, he went on to study music at the Julliard School of Music. After studying at Julliard, he served as Master Sergeant in the United States Air Corp primarily as a musician. After leaving the service, he continued his musical education at Fontainebleau Music Conservatory in France. He later moved to Tucson, Arizona where he received a Masters in Piano at the University of Arizona and completed all requirements for a Doctorate in Music with the exception of his dissertation.
While in Arizona, Irv met Mollie who had settled in Tucson from Poughkeepsie, New York. They were married on December 26, 1954 and raised four sons. Mollie was always by Irv's side and enjoyed the beauty of his music for many decades. Irv's career included teaching private piano lessons, teaching thousands of students as a music educator at Tucson Public schools and the founder of the notable "Irv Coretz and his Orchestra" which was regarded as the premier band in Tucson for decades.
Irv's passion was not only to teach music but to also let others enjoy the beauty of music. He was founder of the Arizona Friends of Music and the Tucson Civic Opera.