Australia’s #1 critic dies

Australia’s #1 critic dies


norman lebrecht

June 04, 2019

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.



  • Michael Black says:

    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.