The last classical critic in Canada

The last classical critic in Canada


norman lebrecht

August 22, 2011

Word reaches me from Toronto that John Terauds, the only fulltime classical music critic in English-speaking Canada, has been switched to the business desk of the Star. The paper has also shut down his music-world blog, SoundMind.

A sign of impoverished times, perhaps, but also a significant step in the closing of Canada’s cultural mind.

Here’s John with his school piano teacher Vesta Mosher in his last musical post.





  • Alex Benjamin says:

    The title might be misleading as I believe Claude Gingras of Montreal’s La Presse – where he’s been writing for over 50 years – now becomes the last fulltime classical critic in Canada. And to say that Terauds’ reassignment is a sign that Canada’s cultural mind is “closing” might be giving a bit too much importance to traditional media.I think we’ve all started to look elsewhere than in newspapers for both “culture” and “mind”.

  • Mike says:

    I’m bothered by Mr. Terauds departure, but not sure that it marks a tremendous change in the cultural mindset in Canada. Now, just as during his tenure, I can count on one hand the number of Canadian cities possessing a critic willing to write an unflattering word about a classical music performance. Music criticism in this country at the moment is more akin to cheerleading, but it seems to have been that way for a while.

  • Emil Archambault says:

    In Montreal, we have Claude Gingras (La Presse) and especially Christophe Huss (Le Devoir), who cover full-time classical music, and can be very vitriolic when they encounter poor performance…

  • Wasn’t The Star also the name of the paper in which Bernard Shaw published his music criticism column under Corno di Bassetto ?

  • AVI says:

    Does this mean that before the advent of the full-time classical music (or other art-form) critic, any given country’s cultural mind was overly closed?
    And does the disappearance of one more critic from a full-time newspaper role mean that there is less valid criticism available to “widen the minds of the body public”, or does it indicate that there is actually more – it’s just that with it coming from a wider variety of media sources there’s no longer a big enough call for a full-timer on newspaper staff?

  • Also: does the end of printed (=broadcasted) classical music criticism really mean the “end of the cultural mind in Canada”, of just its natural and predictable move, as anywhere else, to more favorable (networked=horizontal=interective) media ?

    • Janey says:

      Frankly, I find new forms of discussion and interaction to be far less in depth and informative. Traditional criticism has an important place – bloggers, tweets, FB, etc. can’t replace it, or at least, haven’t found a way to do so yet.

  • Norman,
    Do you really know enough about “Canada’s cultural mind” to say, ex cathedra, that it is closing? Perhaps you should try living here before making such drive-by pronouncements.

    Robert Everett-Green
    Music Critic
    The Globe and Mail
    Canada’s National Newspaper

  • bob schneider says:

    i felt sad to hear about John being switched to business and the closing of his blog.However,there is some good classical music news to report -the violin and guitar ensemble Duo46 Matt and Beth Gould has moved from Phoenix USA to Sudbury Canada to join the music faculty of Cambrian College.