The Critics Circle

Music

An Introduction to the Music Section

Chairman: Guy Dammann

guy.dammann@gmail.com

 

Hon Secretary: Amanda Holloway

Amanda@mandah.net


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.

Members of the Music Section

In this Section


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Business as usual

Jenůfa
Grange Park Opera, West Horsley Place
17 June
Amanda Holloway

Published: 19/06/2017

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Sands of time

Der Rosenkavalier
Millennium Centre, Cardiff
4 May 2017
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 05/06/2017

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Lights, camera, inaction

Y Tŵr, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, 19th May
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 23/05/2017

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Stress tests

Radamisto
Northern Ireland Opera/Irish Chamber Orchestra
Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 09/05/2017

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Death and waltzes

The Exterminating Angel
Covent Garden
April 24th
Paul Levy

Published: 27/04/2017

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Unexploded Bomb

Doctor Atomic
Barbican
April 25th
Alexandra Coghlan

Published: 27/04/2017

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Buried treasure

A Village Romeo and Juliet
New Sussex Opera
Cadogan Hall
Jessica Duchen

Published: 29/03/2017

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Gangland style

Faramondo
Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music
Rick Jones

Published: 22/03/2017

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Cobblers in clubland

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Jessica Duchen

Published: 14/03/2017

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It’s no fairytale

The Snow Maiden/Hansel and Gretel
Opera North
Grand Theatre, Leeds
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 10/03/2017

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Cut the chat

The Yeomen Of The Guard
CBSO
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Christopher Morley

Published: 06/03/2017

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Poetry please

The Winter’s Tale
English National Opera
Amanda Holloway

Published: 01/03/2017

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Family fortunes

Pelléas et Mélisande
Scottish Opera
Glasgow Theatre Royal
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 01/03/2017

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Magic potion

Le Vin herbé
WNO
Wales Millennium Centre
Cardiff
Amanda Holloway

Published: 22/02/2017

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Puppet love

The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak
Wilton’s Music Hall
1 February
Rick Jones

Published: 03/02/2017

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Frying tonight

Semele
CBSO
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
25 January
Richard Bratby

Published: 02/02/2017

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Rooftops of Paris

La bohème
WNO
Cardiff Millennium Centre
28 January
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 31/01/2017

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Elf service

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Gardner
Cadogan Hall
20 January
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 23/01/2017

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Action man

Goldberg Variations
Mahan Esfahani, Wigmore Hall
21 December
Jessica Duchen

Published: 23/12/2016

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Your money or your love

Der Rosenkavalier
Royal Opera House
17 December
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 22/12/2016

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Enduring love

Manon Lescaut
Royal Opera House
22 November
Helen Wallace

Published: 29/11/2016

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Pride of Brum

CBSO, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 16 November
Christopher Morley

Published: 18/11/2016

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Enter, cry, die

Lulu
English National Opera
10 November
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 11/11/2016

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Goodbye to all that

Les contes d’Hoffmann
Royal Opera House
7 November
Amanda Holloway

Published: 08/11/2016

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Wunderbar

Kiss Me, Kate
Welsh National Opera
New Theatre, Oxford
28 Oct
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 02/11/2016

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Rhinal tap

The Nose
Royal Opera House
27 October
Jessica Duchen

Published: 31/10/2016

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Nautical but nice

Billy Budd
Opera North
Grand Theatre, Leeds
18 October
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 24/10/2016

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Nuclear family

Madama Butterfly, Glyndebourne, 14 October
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 19/10/2016

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Knave of trumps

Don Giovanni
Coliseum
7 October
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 10/10/2016

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Overworked

Così fan tutte
Royal Opera House
22 September
Jessica Duchen

Published: 26/09/2016

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Outside the box

The Merchant of Venice
Cardiff Millennium Centre
16 September
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 22/09/2016

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Darkness rising

Macbeth
Millennium Centre
Cardiff
10 September
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 18/09/2016

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All dressed up

Mozart and Bruckner, Dresden Staatskapelle, Royal Albert Hall, 7th September
Amanda Holloway

Published: 10/09/2016

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Electric affinities

Prom 55, CBSO/Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Albert Hall, 27th August
Amanda Holloway

Published: 30/08/2016

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Barenboim crosses borders

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, BBC Proms, 18th August
Rick Jones

Published: 19/08/2016

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Trouble at mill

Jenůfa
Longborough Festival Opera
16 July
Christopher Morley

Published: 09/08/2016

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Twilight of the gods

Parsifal
Bayreuth Festival
2 August
Jessica Duchen

Published: 08/08/2016

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Dark futures

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Munich Opera Festival
Bavarian State Opera
31 July
Jessica Duchen

Published: 04/08/2016

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Knight capers

Falstaff
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
13 July
Christopher Morley

Published: 17/07/2016

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Hearts on fire

Il trovatore
Royal Opera House
12 July
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 14/07/2016

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Just like Germans

Der Ring des Nibelungen: Götterdämmerung
Royal Festival Hall
3 July
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 07/07/2016

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Horsing around

Der Ring des Nibelungen: Siegfried
Royal Festival Hall
1 July
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 04/07/2016

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Circles of the mind

Der Ring des Nibelungen
Royal Festival Hall
28, 29 June
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 01/07/2016

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Fox pops

The Cunning Little Vixen
Glyndebourne
22 June
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 23/06/2016

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On the rocks

Tristan and Isolde
ENO
9 June
Owen Mortimer

Published: 17/06/2016

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Persecution complex

Nabucco
Royal Opera House
6 June
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 15/06/2016

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Bang on target

Der Freischütz
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Royal Festival Hall
7 June
Rick Jones

Published: 09/06/2016

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To the cathouse

Iris
Opera Holland Park
7 June
Alexandra Coghlan

Published: 09/06/2016

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Sunk with all hands

L’italiana in Algeri
Garsington Opera
6 June
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 08/06/2016

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Slavs to love

Eugene Onegin
Garsington Opera at Wormsley
3 June
Paul Levy

Published: 06/06/2016

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Still small voices

The Music of Silence: Steven Osborne plays Feldman and Crumb
Milton Court
31 May
Amanda Holloway

Published: 03/06/2016

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Oedipus the spectacle

Oedipe
Royal Opera House
23 May
Amanda Holloway

Published: 25/05/2016

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Battle songs

In Parenthesis
Welsh National Opera
Wales Millennium Centre
13 May
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 20/05/2016

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Fairytale Flute

Die Zauberflöte
Royal Festival Hall
10 May
Jessica Duchen

Published: 11/05/2016

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A tenor short

Tannhäuser, Royal Opera House, April 29th, 2016
Alexandra Coghlan

Published: 01/05/2016

The Critics Circle

ENO appoints Daniel Kramer new Artistic Director

Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 29/04/2016

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Dead on arrival

Lucia di Lammermoor
Royal Opera House
7 April
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 11/04/2016

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Look to the lady

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall
31 March
Christopher Morley

Published: 04/04/2016

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Gustav by Gustavo

LA Phil, Barbican residency
Rick Jones

Published: 30/03/2016

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Nasty business

The Barber of Seville
Welsh National Opera
Bristol Hippodrome
14 March
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 20/03/2016

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Not really Godunov

Boris Godunov
Royal Opera House, 14 March
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 16/03/2016

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Mixed messages

Iphigénie en Tauride
Pia de’ Tolomei
English Touring Opera
Hackney Empire, 5 & 10 March
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 14/03/2016

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And then there were nuns

Il trittico, Royal Opera, 25 February
Amanda Holloway

Published: 01/03/2016

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Figaro’s Progress

The Marriage of Figaro
Figaro Gets a Divorce

Welsh National Opera
Wales Millennium Centre
20 & 21 February
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 23/02/2016

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Bad Gauls

Norma, English National Opera, London Coliseum, 17 February
Alexandra Coghlan

Published: 20/02/2016

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Manic Flute

The Magic Flute, English National Opera, 16 February
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 17/02/2016

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Careful what you wish for

The Devil Inside, Music Theatre Wales, Peacock Theatre, 6 February
Amanda Holloway

Published: 09/02/2016

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No stars

L’Etoile, Royal Opera House, 1 February 2016
Alexandra Coghlan

Published: 02/02/2016

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Passion on the scaffold

Andrea Chénier, Opera North, 19 January
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 27/01/2016

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Less is more

Pelléas et Mélisande, Barbican Hall, 9 January
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 13/01/2016

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Too much reading

Eugene Onegin, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, 4 January
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 08/01/2016

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Barocking

Arpeggiata, Wigmore Hall, 21 December
Rick Jones

Published: 23/12/2015

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Is your journey really necessary?

Winterreise, St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch 8th December 2015
Amanda Holloway

Published: 11/12/2015

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Passionless peasants

Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, Royal Opera House, 3 December
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 08/12/2015

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Soap opera scrubs up well

Zazà, Barbican Hall, 27 November 2015
Mark Valencia

Published: 30/11/2015

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From Morning to Yawning

Morgen und Abend, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 13 November
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 18/11/2015

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Guernica’s Destiny

The Force of Destiny, English National Opera, 9 November
Jessica Duchen

Published: 10/11/2015

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Luke-warm Debussy

Pelléas et Mélisande, English Touring Opera, Malvern Theatres, 22 October
Richard Bratby

Published: 27/10/2015

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Critics Mocked by Great German Orchestra

Leipzig Gewandhaus in great form at the Barbican
Rick Jones

Published: 21/10/2015

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Fruitful wounds

The Tales of Hoffmann, Britten Theatre, London, 9 October
Robert Thicknesse

Published: 14/10/2015

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From Lolita to Lulu

Salome, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Friday 2 October
Christopher Morley

Published: 05/10/2015

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BBC Broadcasts Philosopher’s Tone

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Hall, Friday 25 September
Rick Jones

Published: 25/09/2015

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Edward Greenfield, 30 July 1928 – 1 July 2015

Veteran classical music critic dies at 86

Published: 03/07/2015

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Andrew Porter, 1928-2015

Music critic, cultural commentator and translator of operatic libretti

Published: 07/04/2015

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Michael Kennedy, 1926-2014

Critic, writer, biographer and journalist dies

Published: 02/01/2015

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Critics’ Circle Announces Music Awards for 2014

George Benjamin wins 2014 Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Musician

Published: 17/10/2014

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Jack Massarik 1940-2014

Veteran musician, jazz writer and critic succumbs to cancer aged 74
Kimon Daltas

Published: 18/07/2014

The Critics Circle

Test

Published: 05/02/2014

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Iestyn Davies receives Outstanding Young Talent award

Countertenor is presented with award on Barbican stage
Kimon Daltas

Published: 18/12/2013

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John Eliot Gardiner receives 2013 Outstanding Musician Award

Conductor and Bach scholar presented with award at Royal Opera House ceremony
Guy Dammann

Published: 26/09/2013

The Critics Circle

Music Section Awards 2013

Gongs for John Eliot Gardiner, Ryan Wigglesworth, Iestyn Davies and Yevgeny Sudbin
Guy Dammann

Published: 16/09/2013

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Reflections on the state of the arts

We Do Things Differently Here
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 21/06/2013

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Benjamin Grosvenor at the Barbican

Presented with his 2012 Award for Exceptional Young Talent
Geoffrey Norris

Published: 13/06/2012

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Oliver Knussen at Aldeburgh

Knussen Receives 2012 Outstanding Musician Award
Geoffrey Norris

Published: 11/06/2012

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2012 Music Awards

The winners are announced
Geoffrey Norris

Published: 07/06/2012

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2011 Music Awards Presentations

The first two Awards for Exceptional Young Talent
Geoffrey Norris

Published: 09/06/2011

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Critics' Circle Music Awards

Geoffrey Norris

Published: 02/04/2011

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My Dear Mozart

The plight of music criticism
Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 17/01/2011

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New Music Section Awards

Watch this space
Geoffrey Norris

Published: 06/01/2011

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Members of the Music Section

Including Honorary Members
Geoffrey Norris

Published: 11/01/2010

CONTACT

Enquiries about the Critics' Circle should be made to the Hon Gen Sec Rick Jones by email criticscircleallsections@gmail.com or telephone 020 8698 2460.