In Monday’s (10/5) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin writes, “To appreciate the impact of Isaiah Sheffer’s decision to step down as the artistic director of Symphony Space, try to conceive what it would be like to lose Zabar’s, H&H Bagels or Barney Greengrass. Mr. Sheffer is an Upper West Side institution. Not only did he help found Symphony Space, the performing arts center on Broadway at 95th Street, 32 years ago, he is also closely identified with the organization’s most notable programs. These include Selected Shorts, story readings distributed to 150 stations nationwide by National Public Radio; Bloomsday on Broadway, the annual reading marathon celebrating James Joyce’s “Ulysses”; and the Wall to Wall celebrations of composers like Bach, Stravinsky and Sondheim. … Actually, Mr. Sheffer, 73, isn’t really going away. He will continue as the host of Selected Shorts, live and on the air. And he will retain the title of founding artistic director. But as of July 1, Symphony Space is to announce on Monday, he will hand off the mantle of artistic director to Laura Kaminsky, 53, whom he has been grooming as his successor. In addition, Cynthia Elliott, the executive director, will become chief executive and president, and Peg Wreen, the managing director, will be named senior vice president for administration.”

Posted October 5, 2009