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Sharon Isbin Interview & Feature / Wall Street Journal

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For most of her childhood, Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin imagined a different career for herself: She wanted to be a rocket scientist. Her father, a chemical engineer, used to make her practice the guitar before she was allowed to work on the model rockets that she would construct and send speeding skyward.

The bribery worked. By age 14, Ms. Isbin performed as a soloist before an audience of 10,000 in her hometown of Minneapolis. "I walked out on the stage and thought, ‘This is even more exciting than seeing my worms and grasshoppers go up to space,' " she remembers.

Now one of the world's pre-eminent classical guitarists at age 58, she's performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall and played with rock guitarists such as Steve Vai, Steve Morse and Nancy Wilson. She also founded the guitar department at the Juilliard School of Music. And in a way she's made it out of the Earth's atmosphere, too; in 1995, astronaut Chris Hadfield took one of her CDs into space.

As a guitarist in the classical music world, and as a woman in the guitar community, Ms. Isbin has had a steep climb in her career. This month, American Public Television will release a new documentary called "Sharon Isbin: Troubadour," tracking her rise as a musical pioneer.  READ THE FULL Wall Street Journal ARTICLE