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Wierzbicki, James  

Joseph E. Morgan

(b Milwaukee, WI, 1948). American music critic and scholar. He earned a BFA in clarinet from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and continued his studies at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he earned a MM and a PhD in 1979. While completing his doctoral work he began his career in music journalism.

During his tenure as music critic at the Cincinnati Post (1974–8) and the St Louis Globe-Democrat (1978–84) Wierzbicki was prolific, writing more than 4000 reviews. In the late 80s his work appeared frequently in the review pages of national publications such as Opera News, Opera Quarterly, and High Fidelity. After an early affiliation with the NPR station in St Louis, writing for the weekly program “Music of Our Time” (1982–7), Wierzbicki achieved a national audience on NPR’s syndicated program “Performance Today” (1986–91).

After retiring from music journalism in the 90s, Wierzbicki pursued an academic career, publishing numerous scholarly articles and books, including one with the American Composer series on Elliott Carter (Chicago, ...