Edward Greenfield

Edward Greenfield at his home in Spitalfields in 2014

The Critics Circle

Edward Greenfield, 30 July 1928 – 1 July 2015

Veteran classical music critic dies at 86

Published: 03/07/2015

Edward Greenfield, a legendary figure in classical music criticism, died on 1 July having never stopped listening and writing.

His career began on the Manchester Guardian, as parliamentary correspondent, but he soon negotiated himself a record review column in parallel. He became Neville Cardus's assistant in 1964, and by 1977 was the newspaper's chief music critic – position he held until 1993. He was a regular contributor to Gramophone magazine – where he continued submitting CD reviews until his death – and a co-editor of the Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music (in its various incarnations).

He was also a regular on Radio 3, and had with a long-running programme on the World Service called The Greenfield Collection.
In his 2014 memoir, Portrait Gallery: A Life in Classical Music, he wrote:

‘I started what I call my Credo on the day I left the Guardian in 1993,’ he says. ‘It is what I believe as a critic. I regard it as my role to get people enjoying music as much as I enjoy music, to have them share that enjoyment.

‘I have many friends among musicians because I am on their side. I want to explain what is great about great musicians.’ 


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