Coverage of classical music has been a constant in Isthmus since its beginning. Madison is a town that likes its highbrow, and you know, it grows on you if you listen long enough and someone explains to you what's going on. We've been very fortunate over the years to have knowledgeable folks to do just that. These days our classical critics are John W. Barker and Sandy Tabachnick.
This week Tabachnick gives us a retrospective of local classical music from the 2000-01 through the 2009-10 seasons, a decade of classical music that demonstrates the maturation of this genre in Madison. She analyzes the business structure and history of three major institutions, the Madison Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Madison Opera.
While you and I enjoy her writing this weekend, Tabachnick is in New York City. She is availing herself of a 10-day fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for the study of journalism in classical music and opera. She will take classes at Columbia University and review various performances in that arts-rich city. Fellowship participants will see the Kronos Quartet, the New York Philharmonic with Joshua Bell, and the Metropolitan Opera's Boris Godunov. Prominent arts journalists, such as Alex Ross of The New Yorker, will critique the fellows' reviews.
Tabachnick has a master's degree in piano from the University of Wisconsin and has taught piano. She splits her time between Madison and Ohio, where her husband teaches sociology at Muskingum University and does research in Appalachian culture. Arts editor Kenneth Burns alerted Tabachnick to the NEA fellowship. We're extremely happy she was accorded the opportunity. It will enrich her and us.