Australia’s #1 critic dies

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the death of Roger Covell, its chief music critic from 1960 to the late 1990s. He was 88.

According to the SMH: Covell’s role as a critic went beyond reviewing. He was a leading voice in the construction of a narrative around the emergence of a confident generation of composers in the 1960s, who drew inspiration from European modernism but wrote in a distinctly Australian voice. His landmark 1967 book, Australia’s Music: Themes of a New Society, charted Australian composition from colonial times to what he perceived to be the new creative energy and dynamism of the 1960s.

 

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  • Roger was a gentleman, a skilled and knowledgeable reviewer and critic, wonderful author, champion and conductor of somewhat obscure operas, my thesis supervisor and someone with a deep understanding of the place of the arts in Australian culture. He was one of a kind.

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