The Classical Music Critic:
A Survey of Classical Music Critics at General Interest and Specialized New Publications in America
Classical Music in America has spent decades defending itself from the
charge of being elitist and white in a multi-ethnic society. Still, the European art form has firmly
taken root in the New World - and the overwhelming majority of classical music critics here believe that
multiculturalism is not the enemy but the future of the field. Meanwhile, the critics themselves remain
predominantly male, white, and middle-aged - in short, the very profile of the average classical listener.
These are some of the key findings in this, the first ever attempt to survey the demographics, work situations,
ethical beliefs and tastes of music critics in the U.S. and Canada. This collaborative effort of the National
Arts Journalism Program and Columbia University's National Arts Journalism Program is an attempt to understand
the thinking of those whose opinions arguably have the most influence in shaping public perception of a field
with deep and enduring roots and a vibrant, if unpredictable, future. The survey's 181 critics are drawn from
daily newspapers, magazines and online forums, and, under the condition of strict anonymity, agreed to write
frankly their thoughts on what criticism should be, and how well they think they are doing.
To order the report (available in xerox copy at this time), call the NAJP at 212.854.1912
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