Chair: Mark Pullinger
Hon Secretary: Guy Rickards

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


In recent years opera has started to pick its topics out of the newspapers, finding material in the everyday in a way Puccini would have approved. Now WNO has turned to Jake Heggie's fact-based tale, premiered in 2000, of a nun going to meet a death-row prisoner who...

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La damnation de Faust, Glyndebourne

Byway to hell All Berlioz’s few operas are highly original in structure and intention – a characteristic encouraged by this brilliant composer’s obsession with Shakespeare as a model alien in French culture. But his Damnation de Faust is not an opera, more like...

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Iphigénie en Tauride, Stuttgart State Opera

Bad trips down Memory Lane by Robert Thicknesse Opera in Britain can feel pretty peripheral, never more so than when you catch one of these classic productions that do the rounds of mainland Europe. It feels like conversation we are not part of – and, indeed, the idea...

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Whitley wins Music award

At the end of a thrilling performance of her new song cycle, Kate Whitley received the 2018 Critics' Circle Award for Emerging Talent: Composer. Her Six Charlotte Mew Settings were sung by two outstanding British artists, bass Matthew Rose and soprano Katherine...

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