Newspaper cancels classical coverage

Newspaper cancels classical coverage


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2015

We hear that the San José Mercury News has killed all classical music coverage as of next week, reassigning feature writer and reviewer Richard Scheinin to cover real estate.
San José has an excellent opera and chamber orchestra.

Do you know the way to San José?

san jose chamber orchestra


  • Donald Wright says:

    San Jose also has a very good Steinway Society (, under whose auspices I’ve heard many great pianists.

  • Frankster says:

    From Wikipedia: “By the 1990s, San Jose’s location within the booming local technology industry earned the city the nickname “Capital of Silicon Valley”. San Jose is now considered to be a global city, and notable for its affluence, and high cost of living. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population of the city to be 998,537 as of July 1, 2013.”

    • william osborne says:

      Silicon Valley has more millionaires per capita than any other place on earth. If you ask rich people to fund the arts, you’re asking for trouble and impoverishment. When will America develop a good public arts funding system like all other developed countries have long had?

  • bratschegirl says:

    San Jose is also the home of Symphony Silicon Valley, an excellent regional-level professional orchestra.

  • esfir ross says:

    Sad news! Richard Scheinin’s the best and honest music critic. He’s also write reviews for Oakland Tribune so his oppinion still be in a press.

  • David Borough says:

    To cancel coverage of a major cultural activity in a major city by a regional newspaper, is to begin a descent into a community without culture….

  • JAMA11 says:

    This is sad. The Mercury News also provides a lot of coverage for the Cabrillo Festival, Oakland/East Bay organizations, the Monterey Symphony, and lots of other arts groups south of San Francisco that SF media can’t reliably get to.

  • TOrozco says:

    very sad and upsetting. I remember when I would enjoy the many reviews and articles – cutting them out and pasting in scrap books – feeling proud of our City. This is a major disservice and a slap in the face to all of us hard working artists that bring the element of beauty, humanity, education and much more to our community…

  • Lisa Wrenn says:

    I’m the Features editor for the Mercury News and want to set the record straight. I’m not sure where you got your information but it’s simply not true. What is accurate is that next week Rich is being reassigned. Unfortunately, the paper continues to undergo financial pressures, we’ve got a hiring freeze and several key local news and business beats remain unfilled. In the larger context, his position is a luxury our paper cannot afford. We are committed to our classical and jazz coverage and will be relying on freelancers like Georgia Rowe going forward. Before we were lucky enough to get Rich on our A&E staff, he worked for many years as a news reporter and magazine writer. While we will miss him sorely, too, his talents are needed elsewhere.

    • Janet Ikeda says:

      I enjoyed Mr. Scheinin’s articles and was sad to hear this. The Mercury News is not the paper it was, I am not renewing my subscription.

  • JAMA11 says:

    Also, have you heard the San Jose Opera? I have, a number of times. And I’ve worked with the Chamber Orchestra myself. They are both fine organizations. But excellent? Says who? That word used to mean something, not just “oh, they do some good work.

    Or are you attaching adjectives to organizations whose work you are not really familiar with?

    • Chris says:

      Heck, in this day and age- and especially in Silicon Valley- the fact that the opera company (with four productions scheduled this season and next), a string orchestra, _and_ a Symphony Silicon Valley exist at all is “excellent.” Sadly, the full-time San Jose Symphony died a number of years ago, so folks cobble together what they can.

  • Richard says:

    It is a indeed a sad day for lovers of classical music and jazz in the Bay Area (Rich Scheinin covered both). In spite of Lisa Wrenn’s comment, free lancers, no matter how talented and knowledgeable, do not have the clout of a staff reporter. Rich was instrumental (pun intended) in getting feature articles on music published. this development will impose a hardship on struggling arts organizations who depended on his efforts to publicize their programs. Now they will have to rely on paid ads to get the word out about their concerts.

  • bratschegirl says:

    Your sentiments are right on point, Chris, but one quibble: the San Jose Symphony was never “full-time.” It presented a significantly larger season than Symphony Silicon Valley does now, but the only full-time orchestra in the SF Bay Area was and is the San Francisco Symphony. The SF Opera and Ballet are also full-time during their seasons, but each one offers only about half as many performance weeks as the SF Symphony.

  • Hector Armienta - Artistic Dir of Opera Cultura in San Jose says:

    It is sad to see Mr. Scheinin leave San Jose Mercury News. However, many individuals and consumers no longer get their information from solely traditional news media.

  • Robert Gilchrist Huenemann says:

    This is a catastrophe. Especially considering the amount of pure garbage published in the Murky News. Mr. Scheinin has an encyclopedic knowledge of music. What a shame he is gone.