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date: 15 November 2019

Kerner, Leighton locked

  • Andrea F. Bohlman


(b Somerville, MA, Jan 11, 1927; d New York, NY, April 29, 2006). American music critic. Kerner studied chemical engineering at Tufts University (1949) and earned a master’s in journalism at Boston College (1951). At the outset of his career, he served as a freelance theater critic, but increasingly turned to music. Kerner’s reviews brought serious consideration for classical music to The Village Voice, for which he served as a staff writer from 1961–98 and contributed articles from 1957 to his death. He also wrote for Opera News, Musical America, and Travel & Leisure. Though a classical music critic by trade, Kerner was known for his voracious enthusiasm for New York’s diverse music scene, which he shared in his criticism through encyclopedic references to past concerts. This vigor infected his energetically optimistic writing style, in which he maintained a witty tone unencumbered by condescension. Kerner’s belief in the vital future of classical music performance and composition in America stood out in late 20th-century musical discourse. In recognition of his contribution to American musical writing and culture, he received two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards and a Letter of Distinction from the American Music Center....

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