Music Criticism

Conducting Business

New Battle Lines Drawn Between Press and Arts Organizations

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Usually, a polite discourse pervades arts journalism, but two cases underscore the tricky relationship between classical music organizations and the media that covers them.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Is Pop Criticism Broken?

Friday, March 21, 2014

In the wake of charges that modern music critics are too obsessed with "lifestyle" reporting, one writer defends the art - or the good stuff, at least.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Amiri Baraka Reads "The Revolutionary Theater"

Monday, February 18, 2013


Amiri Baraka died January 9th after weeks of failing health. He was 79. A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American letters.  Speaking at the Overseas Press Club ( and airing on WNYC) in 1965 following the release of his Obie award-winning play The Dutchman, Baraka presented himself as a no-nonsense artist who was not about to compromise his message for anyone. The talk catches Baraka (still known as Leroi Jones) at the height of his radical voice in the 1960s and is critical because it was delivered just four days before the assassination of Malcolm X.


The writer and activist LeRoi Jones (who would later be known as Amiri Baraka) speaks here on February 17, 1965, four days before the assassination of Malcolm X, an event that catapulted him from a charismatic Greenwich Village maverick into a radicalized black nationalist in Harlem.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Virgil Thomson on What Makes a Good Music Critic

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Virgil Thomson is the guest on this 1948 edition of The Reader's Almanac. Not Virgil Thomson the composer, though, but Virgil Thomson the critic, whose collection, The Art of Judging Music (1948), had just been published. 

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Studio 360

Tim Page's Do Not PlayList

Friday, July 13, 2012

A couple weeks ago, the music critic Tim Page posted a shortlist on Facebook of “perfectly good music that I never need to hear again.” He included Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, acts 1, 2, and 4 of Puccini’s La Boheme, Dave Brubeck’s "Take Five," and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's ...

Studio 360's Do Not PlayList

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Conducting Business

Music Criticism as Contact Sport

Thursday, July 12, 2012

As almost anyone with a Facebook account knows, classical music criticism is going from spectator sport to participatory activity. In this podcast, three experts ask whether this helps or hurts classical music.

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Critiquing the Critics

Friday, May 07, 2010

John Schaefer: Blogging isn't necessarily the same thing as music criticism.

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Studio 360

Adams VS. Derogatis

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Ryan Adams played in Chicago last December, and the Sun-Times' music critic, Jim DeRogatis, panned him. Adams left a heartfelt, enraged message on the writer's voicemail, which DeRogatis then broadcast to all of Chicago when he did his weekly radio show. Mayhem ensues. Produced by Steve Nelson.


Studio 360

Rock Critic Anthony DeCurtis on Fans

Saturday, August 04, 2001

Kurt Andersen and rock music critic Anthony DeCurtis discuss the passions that drive devoted fans.

DeCurtis is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and host of the online musician interview show, The A-list, at His Rolling Stone cover subjects include R.E.M., U2, Sting, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, George ...