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

Kat’a Kabanova, Royal Opera House

Emergency exits Leos Janacek’s Kat’a Kabanova, premiered in Brno in 1921, is a brooding piece about adultery and death framed in a plot of older people tyrannising younger ones. Kat’a (normally rendered as Katya), sung by Amanda Majeski, and her husband Tikhon (Andrew...

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The Magic Flute, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Destination unknown Tell it not in Gath – but Mozart’s Magic Flute is politically too incorrect in this #MeToo era. Among many cuts in Opera North’s new production, no animals get charmed by the magic of Tamino’s flute on his mission to rescue Pamina, and of course...

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Die Walküre, Royal Festival Hall

Family planning by Robert Thicknesse A lot of supporters of the London Philharmonic Orchestra couldn’t get into last February’s cycle opener (this is a pretty leisurely Ring, culminating in a full cycle in 2021) because of its “gala” billing and concomitantly ruinous...

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