The last classical critic in Canada

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.

 

Meandvesta

 

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  • 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”.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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 ?

    • 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

  • 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 http://www.duo46.com Matt and Beth Gould has moved from Phoenix USA to Sudbury Canada to join the music faculty of Cambrian College.

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