The aims of the Music Section of the Critics’ Circle are: 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.
We meet to discuss and decide bread and butter matters twice a year. Occasionally we host meetings with a leading figure from the music world. We also 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 welcome critics of other kinds of music (jazz, pop, and world music).
News & Reviews
Love thy neighbour Kurt Weill’s 1947 “Broadway opera” contains much fine writing, musically and dramatically. It is not shaped like a verismo opera: its excellent songs do not play the same intently focused role as in Puccini. Yet it shows off Weill’s huge theatrical...read more
Royal crush by Tom Sutcliffe Death in Venice, Benjamin Britten’s last opera, was always a special case – special because written for the composer’s beloved (and habitually unfaithful) partner Peter Pears, but also special because of the composer’s complicated interest...read more
Brexcalibur by Robert Thicknesse Who will write the King Arthur for another fractured age? Purcell’s sweet pageant is unlikely to serve as a rallying point, I fear. But that’s surely what it was in 1691, as England and Britain began a long climb out of a half-century...read more
Growing pains by Robert Thicknesse I confess I wasn’t expecting huge things from Ian Page and Classical Opera’s Così. Nice cast, for sure, but Page isn’t (despite his unswerving devotion to the composer) the greatest Mozart conductor, and his orchestra is only a bit...read more