Chairman: Guy Dammann
Hon Secretary: Amanda Holloway
When the Critics Circle started in 1913, it was launched by a group of theatre critics. But distinguished past presidents have included such well-known figures as Philip Hope-Wallace, William Mann, Andrew Porter, Charles Osborne and Rodney Milnes.
Our current chairman is Guy Dammann, who writes for The Guardian and Times Literary Supplement, and the Section secretary is Amanda Holloway.
The aims of the Music Section of the Critics' Circle are, to quote the Circle's rulebook, a) to promote the art of criticism and to uphold its integrity in practice; b) to foster and safeguard the professional interests of its members and to provide opportunities for social intercourse among them: and c) to support the advancement of the arts. Though the Circle is decidedly not a trade union, it tries to encourage best practice.
The music section from time to time has acted for its members in connection with scales of fees for programme notes and magazine articles. We have recently been concerned that some concert and opera promoters have been trying to force members to sell their copyright for fees that would previously have bought only "first serial rights". Music critics tend to be among the least well paid in the Circle. They really need repeat fees for re-use of programme notes they have penned.
We meet to discuss and decide bread and butter matters three times a year for about 90 minutes maximum.
Occasionally we hold meetings where a leading performer or a concerthall or opera manager will answer questions from members about their work. We also irregularly hold luncheons or dinners to celebrate the lifetime achievement of some very special artist, writer, composer or instrumentalist. The music section has about 80 members. At present, it consists overwhelmingly of classical music and opera critics, though we would welcome as members critics of other kinds of music (jazz, pop, and world music) if they want to join us.
Mozart and Bruckner, Dresden Staatskapelle, Royal Albert Hall, 7th September
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Munich Opera Festival
Bavarian State Opera
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Götterdämmerung
Royal Festival Hall
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Royal Festival Hall
The Music of Silence: Steven Osborne plays Feldman and Crumb
Iphigénie en Tauride
Pia de’ Tolomei
English Touring Opera
Hackney Empire, 5 & 10 March
The Marriage of Figaro
Figaro Gets a Divorce
Welsh National Opera
Wales Millennium Centre
20 & 21 February
The Devil Inside, Music Theatre Wales, Peacock Theatre, 6 February
Winterreise, St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch 8th December 2015
Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, Royal Opera House, 3 December
Morgen und Abend, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 13 November
Pelléas et Mélisande, English Touring Opera, Malvern Theatres, 22 October
Leipzig Gewandhaus in great form at the Barbican
Salome, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Friday 2 October
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Hall, Friday 25 September
George Benjamin wins 2014 Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Musician
Veteran musician, jazz writer and critic succumbs to cancer aged 74
Countertenor is presented with award on Barbican stage
Conductor and Bach scholar presented with award at Royal Opera House ceremony
Gongs for John Eliot Gardiner, Ryan Wigglesworth, Iestyn Davies and Yevgeny Sudbin
Presented with his 2012 Award for Exceptional Young Talent
Enquiries about the Critics' Circle should be made to the Hon Gen Sec Rick Jones by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 8698 2460.