August 7, 2013

Litton Responds to 'Independent on Sunday' Reviewer Layoffs

Last week's revelation that the U.K.'s Independent on Sunday newspaper is ending its own arts reviews in favor of a digest of crits from other sources has not only worried journalists. asked a few of today's leading musicians for their thoughts via email, and we will post the answers as we get them.

Here are the conductor Andrew Litton's opinions on the subject:

"While every classical musician may have a critic or two upon whom he wishes unemployment or early retirement, the truth is they are a necessary evil. When critics had newspaper space, it helped fill houses, some lured by raves, others curious if we really were as bad as portrayed. But we desperately need good criticism, an art form practiced by only a few that creates both a valuable dialogue with performers and an objective source of enlightenment for an audience that has been largely abandoned by our education system. The demise of the music critic strikes a somber knell for all musicians. Self-appointed cyber-critics rarely are a satisfactory substitute for informed, intelligent, well-written commentary, even when wrong."