Sunday, October 16, 2016

Return of the Rubin Institue

Remember the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism?

It's an organization dedicated to training the next generation of music critics, by giving a small number of music students the chance to work with top-flight music critics for a few days. I had quite a bit to say about the organization two years ago during their last session (yes, it's an alternate-years seminar). In brief, they're trying to solve the wrong problem: the major challenge facing classical music criticism isn't a lack of good critics, it's a lack of ways to make a living as a critic.

Anyway, the Rubin Institute is in town again, October 20-24, again at the SF Conservatory of Music. The cast of, critics is similar to 2014:

  • Joshua Kosman, SF Chron
  • Anne Midgette, Washington Post
  • Tim Page, USC
  • John Rockwell
  • Alex Ross
  • Stephen Rubin
  • Heidi Waleson, WSJ
No sign of Anthony Tommasini of the NY Times, Winn Delacoma, or Steven Winn; no idea why. The late Robert Commanday also participated in 2014, and all I can do is sigh over his absence.

You can read the institute schedule at the SFCM web site.: The public events include pre-concert talks by Anne Midgette (Philharmonia Baroque), John Rockwell (SFS), and Alex Ross (SFO, The Makropulos Case). In addition, there's a public panel at 2 p.m. on Friday and a presentation of prizes at 10:30 a.m. on Monday. This seems significantly reduced from 2014.

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