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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

New York Times critic Allan Kozinn taken off music beat, reassigned to 'general culture'

By John Terauds on September 4, 2012

Until this morning, I lived in hope that The New York Times was somehow above the jettisoning of music critics by daily newspapers in North America. Then I heard that Allan Kozinn has been reassigned to “general culture” reporting.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

Next to his Times colleague Anthony Tommassini, Kozinn represented the best of contemporary criticism in classical music: concise yet descriptive, informed but never pompous, fair but incisive. I have read his reviews with pleasure for years, and will miss this colourful, informative window into the vibrant musical life of New York City.

Given that it’s only been a year since I was shuffled out of the critic’s chair at the Star, I can also imagine the intense frustration Kozinn must feel at being so close to his old job, yet not being able to do it any longer. And, as any journalist in any beat knows, the career choices are stark these days. There are no staff critics’ jobs open anywhere, so one either ensures a steady living by accepting the new position, or jumps into the choppy waters of freelancing.

That’s an especially daunting choice in middle age and in a country with no public health care.

I’ve signed a petition to reinstate Kozinn, if only to be one of the hopefully thousands of voices that will help remind the editors at The New York Times that their newspaper and writers are read and respected far beyond their metropolitan boroughs. Check it out here.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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