News of Allan Kozinn’s departure from the New York Times has gone viral in the music and media communities, with tributes flowing in from many quarters for one of the last honest and knowledgeable writers on the Manhattan main drag.
Pulitzer winner Tim Page writes from California:
Allan Kozinn could write about anything — with grace, intelligence, perspective and a sly and subtle wit. He had EARS, as they say, and he employed them for more than three decades at The New York Times. I had hoped that things were getting better on Eighth Avenue…. True, the NYT still has some fine critics, but only one of them is now on staff. A bad day for anybody who cares about music.
More pertinent still is this comment from a leading PR who, like most others, finds it impossible to get a review of interesting concerts – as distinct from show-off stuff – into the paper. This person tells Slipped Disc:
Since Steve Smith left for Boston, it has been a nearly impossible task to get reviewed unless you are über-famous. Most of the classical music department really doesn’t want to give a somewhat lesser-known artist a chance. They want free tickets to the best concerts in town. In a way, they really aren’t reviewing, but attending a great performance and mostly praising what they attend. Occasionally, in an opera or orchestral review, you’ll get a quibble. But, mostly, critics write about – and attend – performances they actually want to hear because they already are familiar with the artists. Where does that leave hundreds of extremely talented and worthy performers: Nowhere, I’m afraid.
There’s no place left in the Times for good music. Its reputation as a newspaper of record died today.