Critiquing Al Niente

It seems today that many so-called artists, performing organizations, and presenters are guilty of practicing their work as if they are doing no more than delivering a consumable product. Given Al Niente’s review of the Metro Philharmonic in last Thursday’s Daily Times, they are evidently joined in this charade by music journalists. Mr. Niente’s review […]

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Critic

[Ed. Note: This essay, written in Nantucket in 1982, appeared in Ned Rorem's collection Setting The Tone: Essays and a Diary (Coward McCann, 1983) which is currently out of print. Many of the issues he raises in this 20 year-old essay are still extremely relevant today, which is why with the kind permission of Mr. […]

Problems Facing Music Criticism From the COMPOSER-TO-COMPOSER Series at the Telluride Institute

Estrada, La Barbara, Cage, Spiegel, Subotnick, Lockwood, Davis, León, Amirkhanian, and Johnso Composer Participants: Charles Amirkhanian John Cage Laurie Spiegel Joan La Barbara Tom Johnson Walter Zimmermann Morton Subotnick Anthony Davis Tania León Julio Estrada Jin Hi Kim Ricardo Dal Farra Annea Lockwood Guest Participant: Alan Rich Friday, August 18, 1989, 9-11 AM Recorded and […]

American composers reflect on the state of music criticism in America today James Wierzbicki

What an interesting task: to comment briefly, from my current perspective, on the state of music journalism in America and its impact on the community. When I was working in the trenches—i.e., as the chief music journalist for the Cincinnati Post (1974-78), the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (1978-83), and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1983-94)—I pondered this […]

A View from the West: Invented Instruments—Paul Dresher’s Sound Stage

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki Last month I offered a broad survey of sound sculptures, invented instruments, their creators, and role in modern music. In this column, I will take a closer look at a single work focusing on newly invented instruments: Paul Dresher‘s Sound Stage—an interdisciplinary music theater piece performed by Zeitgeist, the new […]