The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Memorial service for James Crow is this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Capitol Lakes. Here are more obituaries emphasizing his family, his science and his music plus Mozart’s music to mourn him. | January 10, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

As I promised last week, I am posting information about the memorial service for the renowned University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of genetics James F. Crow (below), who died last Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 95 and who also played such a vital role in Madison’s classical music scene.

The first link is to a complete and official obituary, with much more information about his family and survivors than I had. It appeared on Sunday in The Wisconsin State Journal and announced that his memorial service is Sunday at 3 p.m. at Capitol Lakes Retirement Center, 333 West Main Street, off the Capitol Square in downtown Madison:

The other obituary, from the University of Wisconsin news service, also touches on his music but discusses more of the scientific excellence and academic heritage of this man who wore his intelligence so lightly (he was working in his office on new research only two weeks or so before his death) and who treated others, including students, so kindly and warmly:

Finally, in memory of Jim, a devoted violist and chamber music fan, here is music that fits him for its elegance and charm, depth and empathy: the slow movement from Mozart‘s Viola Quintet in G minor, played by the Amadeus String Quartet with violist Cecil Aronowitz in 1966:


  1. There is an aspect to this remarkable man which we have experienced for the 20 years which we have known him — he was marvelously political, explicitly on “our side” (and there certainly are sides to be taken these days, aren’t there). I think in one of the obits a letter to the editor was reproduced, although I am not finding that on web versions of the obits. Or did you print it, Jake? As I recall, it addressed the tone and tenor of today’s politics.

    We met Jim at the time we discovered Marc Blitzstein’s two political pro-labor operas. He was proud to tell us that he had hosted Blitzstein in his apartment while in college, and that he, among all us local enthusiasts, is the only one who had actually met Blitzstein.

    He came to our performances of some of Blitzstein’s music in 1990 and supported and attended (with compliments) our locally-created pro-labor opera, “Esperanza,” in 2000.

    Jim was an astute follower of the political news, he had such a breadth of interests and such lively curiosity. We kept in touch and would send him political reports and analyses, often things David (Newby) had written. He took a special interest in the events of the “uprising” this spring, and seemed especially interested in our reports and on-the-scene evaluation of what all was happening. He responded on more than one occasion, “Solidarity!”

    We will miss you, Jim. Solidarity!

    Comment by Katleen McElroy — January 10, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

    • Hi Kathy,
      So very well put.
      Jim was indeed an astute political observer and participant.
      And yes, I included a letter to the editor he wrote comparing the Great Recession to the Great Depression and how worrying about the national debt should come after stimulus and recovery.
      You will find a link in the first post I did about jim;s death last week.
      Thank you for the details and anecdote about Marc Blitzstein.
      Jim truly was one of a kind.

      Best to you and David for 2012!

      Comment by welltemperedear — January 11, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  2. Hi Eva,
    Thank you for reading and for replying with such kind words of appreciation.
    Jim was a great scientist, a great teacher and a great humanist.
    All that and he was also a great friend.
    My best to you in 2012.

    Comment by welltemperedear — January 10, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  3. Thanks for this nice tribute to a fine man!
    I appreciate your coverage of the musical world.

    Comment by Eva Wright — January 10, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,201 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,077,070 hits
%d bloggers like this: