New York Times opera critic is exposed as a racist agitator

New York Times opera critic is exposed as a racist agitator


norman lebrecht

December 13, 2017

Buzzfeed and the Washington Post have brought to light the curious case of John G. Briggs, a respected opera critic on the New York Times, who lived a double-life under the pseudonym Nicholas Stanford writing vitriolic columns for southern newspapers about liberal and Jewish bias in US media.

Briggs, who died in 1990, started out as a press agent for Arturo Toscanini. After leaving the Times in 1960 (no cause given), he wrote program notes for the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as a history of the Met, ‘Requiem for a Yellow Brick Brewery’, and a glossy hagiolatry, ‘Leonard Bernstein: The Man, His Work and His World’.

Professor Sid Bedingfield writes in the Post that Stanford ‘described Puerto Rican residents of West Harlem as “vermin.” And he aimed a steady stream of vitriol at Jews. A “clean sweep” of Jews from newsrooms would eliminate communist influence in the media, he told Waring. In one column, he raised doubts about the Holocaust. He contended that the “whole question of concentration camps and six million Jews allegedly murdered therein has had gingerly treatment in the U.S. press.”’



  • Been Here Before says:

    No need to go back to the ’60s. Just take a look at some of the SD comments over the last week. I bet all of them are reputable characters in their “real life”.

  • Sue says:

    I can remember a rather important Viennese musicologist writing on the now-defunct Mozart Forum under a username which was incomprehensible and he spewed the most awful bile at people. The man was a serial troll with a big problem.

  • PaulD says:

    I guess Briggs was the Walter Duranty of the Times’ arts section.