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November 9, 2012

Isaiah Sheffer, 1935-2012

Selected Shorts is deeply saddened at the passing of Symphony Space Founding Artistic Director Isaiah Sheffer. He was our voice and guiding spirit. Some listeners have expressed concern that Selected Shorts will no longer go on without Isaiah. We want you to know, the show will go on!  Details to be announced soon about upcoming shows.

Many of you have shared your thoughts, memories, and stories about Isaiah here and on our memorial page: www.symphonyspace.org/isaiah.

We also saw a number of touching tributes to his memory on our Facebook page, some of which are shared here:

“Mr. Sheffer, thank you for generously investing your time in Selected Shorts for all of us. Thanks to your recordings, we will continue to hear the warmth and humor in your voice for years to come. I’ll see you in the story’s pages…”
— Mike Bailey

“I will miss his voice and his charm, which are such a great part of this program. Hope Selected Shorts will make a special CD full of his best performances over the years!”
— Lana Rodenhiser

“Oh, so sorry. I listened to him weekly on WNYC and still, half a world away in Indonesia, I listened to him weekly via the podcast. Thanks for all the stories all these years, Isaiah.”
— James Penha

“Selected shorts won’t be the same…what a loss.”
— Laura Matson

“If he read a grocery list on Saturday nights, I would still tune in every week. First Car Talk and now this. Weekends won’t be the same.”
— John Roland

“What a voice. I have been known to sit in the parking lot long after the trip because I could not turn off Short Stories until the finale. You haven’t really passed when you live on in happy and grateful hearts. RIP”
— Susan Brueckner Baresel

“Discovering Selected Shorts reconnected me to a lifelong love of short stories, and for that I am forever grateful. Isaiah Sheffer leaves a priceless legacy of true and abiding love for the arts as a personal experience. Thank you, Mr. Sheffer, for all you did not only for music and the spoken word but also for our optimism and humanity. May you rest in peace (but not in the living room!).”
— Darla Kennerud

“What an amazing legacy he left. I will miss hearing his commentary, and even more, will miss hearing new stories brilliantly read in that unique and mesmerizing voice of his.”
— Nicole Dalton

“So Long Mr. Sheffer, and thanks for making our lives just that little bit better.”
— Jacqueline Moore

“I hosted Isaiah in Montana three times for Selected Shorts in MT. For Montana Public Radio. He was an amazing champion for the arts and will be missed dearly. Condolences from Montana!
— Michael Marsolek

“So sorry to hear. I am a relative newcomer to Selected Shorts and loved, loved, loved hearing his voice, whether as host, interviewer or actor. I will miss that voice, but am gratified that there is a library of works that I can always draw from. So sad. He will be missed.”
— Ziona Friedlander

“I listen to selected shorts in bed at night… like a little kid having a story told to me. Isaiah Sheffers voice was wise and loving and reassuring, the first part of the story telling ritual and the bridge to the land of words that separates day and night for me. I feel I have lost a grandfather or someone equally as magical and dear”
— Christy Mueller

“I am so sad. He is the voice that got me interested in the spoken word. I have rarely laughed so hard as I have when listening to his reading of stories on SS.”
— Gerard NeCastro

“I always try to remember this….”don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”. definitely sad at his passing.”
— Peter Corriveau

“The spoken word has lost a vital, important voice.”
— Durren Anderson

“Tragic news. May his family take comfort in the fact that his vision and voice will live on in a generation of readers.”
— Lainie Johnson

“I first met Isaiah about two years ago, but even before I walked into the studios at WNYC I felt like I already knew him–I’d been listening to his voice on Selected Shorts since I was a teenager…” [read more]
— Hannah Tinti

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