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Leading artists who were not reviewed in the NY Times this week

November 21, 2017 by norman lebrecht

17 comments.


Like most other newspapers, the New York Times is pulling back from reviewing classical concerts.

A concerned reader informs us that no reviews have appeared for:
Benjamin Grosvenor

Paul Lewis

Swedish Chamber Orchestra

Tetzlaff Quartet

A quick online check reveals that some were mentioned in the art section’s weekly preview, but that’s it. No reviews. The paper’s old claim to cover the musical waterfront is, it appears, being allowed to fade out.

It’s no fun at all for an international orchestra to fly to New York and fly back home unnoticed.


Comments (17)

  1. John Kelly says:

    Also a conflated (and not very thorough) review of Thais and Mother of Us All (on the tenuous “connection” between the plots about women………you have to read it to believe that they did this)……………..and I might add no review of Marc Andre Hamelin’s recital a few weeks ago at Carnegie (at least I couldn’t find it). Standards continue to slip and I still miss Alan Kozinn 🙁

  2. Ungeheuer says:

    That is an outrage, Lewis and Grosvenor being major pianists and major talents. I suspect that the NYT arts coverage is agency-driven and has been for long. This requires an investigation. I was puzzled to read yesterday what James Osterreich wrote in his review of the recent recital by Barbara Hannigan. He flat out called her “a legend”. What legend? Since when? Maybe I missed something but to me Hannigan is nothing more than the new Dawn Upshaw or someone like her. Hers is a white, vibratoless and small voice fond of exploring unusual rep (and hardly music). She has been called “courageous” by frustrated and jaded art school postmodernists. But real courage is singing standard and well known rep where there is no hiding behind obscurity.

    1. herrera says:

      This is the typical schizophrenic reaction I expected: outrage that the NYT didn’t cover someone, and then equal outrage over the review that did get published.

      What people really want is: cover my favorite musicians and give me a review that matches my own views.

      There is such an outlet: it’s called a personal blog.

    2. Robert Hairgrove says:

      Ungeheuer said: “Maybe I missed something…

      Perhaps this?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFFpzip-SZk

      1. Ungeheuer says:

        Lovely, just lovely. A schizophrenic on the upper spectrum. As I wrote, hardly music. I suppose the lady will grow the myth of her “legend” among those who think that (the monotonous) Björk is the equal of Sibelius (whose own Luonnotar is hardly music and barely listenable but whose other output is).

  3. kaa says:

    This is a continuing outrage. Wolf and Tomassini now largely cover mostly work by contemporary composers and even when they cover the standard repertoire, they interject their ridiculous advocacy. Look, we all want to hear new things, but it is terrible when they spend most of the review about a short piece when most of us came to listen to something else. However, the real issue apparently is not “covering my favorite musician”. In these days of reduced coverage, they once wrote a very long review about a ridiculous concert in the crypt of a church attended by nor more than 30 people when thousands during that week had gone to Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. I was at a party for the Pulitzer Prize and was sitting next to one of the most senior editors at the NYT. When I complained to him about what was happening in the music reviewing area he told me that the Times is cutting down on all local news (including concerts) in large part because the majority of the new subscribers are not New Yorkers. The consequence is that in essence there is a single page in the Arts section on Saturday devoted to classical music and here the reviewers essentially review their composer friends.

    1. La Verita says:

      Yup, that’s right: The NY Times ignores major artists who perform in major Manhattan venues, but when a hot young male pianist plays contemporary music in a tiny church crypt in Harlem, Anthony Tommasini races uptown (with a NY Times photographer in tow) to cover the event!

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/arts/music/-review-david-greilsammer-piano-crypt.html

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/arts/music/review-a-pianist-brings-american-rage-to-a-church-crypt.html

      1. Kekszakallu says:

        I cannot relate to this sentiment at all. The New York classical music scene is vast and diverse and not every presenter has the marketing capabilities of Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center – turning your nose up at the prospect of the New York Times reporting on a quite unique recital (by a very fine pianist) over a Zankel Hall recital with a Haydn and Brahms program is bizarre to me.

  4. Joel A Stein says:

    There are very few classical reviews in the NY Times. There are brief articles about upcoming concerts and a follow up each week with you tube excerpts attached that includes commentary on some of the events that took place during the week, i.e.a brief comment on Grosvenor’s performance of Brahms. BTW I am surprised Slippedisc hasn’t picked up the Andris Nelsens comment that Classical Music doesn’t have a sexual harassment problem…

    1. John Borstlap says:

      Many in the classical music world would agree there is sexual harrassment but woud not think it is a problem.

  5. fred smith says:

    Yet they appear to have a budget to send Zachary Woolfe around the globe to “review” opera!!!

  6. Scott says:

    Concertonet and NY Classical Review have better reviews than the NY Times.

  7. Ken Thompson says:

    The quality of the music reviews in the NYTimes has definitely declined over the years. Tommasini basically does puff pieces, and Wolf… don’t get me started! Popular music concerts are totally ignored. Dance is covered pretty well, but why on earth does the NYTimes waste so much time and ink on covering “experimental” dance? If a couple of teenaged lesbians are hopping around in a garage, the NYTimes will be THERE.

  8. Mike Schachter says:

    The NYT is good at ignoring other types of news as well eg the rabid anti-Semitism in many US campuses. But since it is driven by “progressives” it is hard to blame it on Trump or Putin, so doesn’t fit the “narrative”

  9. William Osborne says:

    In a system where art is funded by the wealthy, there will be an oversupply in the largest financial center, and scarcity in many other places.

  10. jp says:

    Unless I missed it, they also failed to review IRCAM’s performances of Pierre Boulez’s “Repons” a while back.


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