An Introduction to the Music Section
Chairman: Geoffrey Norris
Hon Secretary: Neil Fisher
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 Geoffrey Norris, who writes for The Telegraph, and the Section secretary is Neil Fisher, who writes for the Times.
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. It at present 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.
Benjamin Grosvenor at the Barbican
Presented with his 2012 Award for Exceptional Young Talent
Oliver Knussen at Aldeburgh
Knussen Receives 2012 Outstanding Musician Award
2012 Music Awards
The winners are announced
2011 Music Awards Presentations
The first two Awards for Exceptional Young Talent
Alina Ibragimova and Robin Ticciati receive their Music Awards
Critics' Circle Music Awards
The Music Section announces its Outstanding Musician Award and Awards for Exceptional Young Talent
New Music Section Awards
Watch this space
The 77 members of the music section will soon be casting their votes for the 2010 awards. Awards have been given from time to time in the past, but the plan is now to put them on a permanent footing by presenting them annually.
My Dear Mozart
The plight of music criticism
Circle President, Tom Sutliffe, on the plight of music criticism today.
Members of the Music Section
Including Honorary Members
The music section has about 80 members. It at present 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.