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date: 08 August 2020

Ross, Alex locked

  • Andrea F. Bohlman


(b Washington, DC, Jan 12, 1968). American music critic. He studied English and music at Harvard University (BA 1990). While an undergraduate he worked at the college’s radio station, WHRB, where he sought to promote classical music. He has credited his DJ experience for inspiring him to explore the relationship between popular and classical music, since he also hosted underground rock programs at the station, excavating obscure and experimental music for broadcast. As a critic he has contributed to the New Republic, Slate, Lingua Franca, Fanfare, and Feed. Ross wrote regularly on music for the New York Times from 1992 until his appointment as classical music critic at the New Yorker in 1996. At the latter he has developed a strong profile for 20th-century composition and has implicitly insisted that classical music culture is relevant to contemporary society. His writing has consistently presented music as critically integrated into various avenues of culture from the moment of composition through its continued performance. Through lively analytical writing that has not avoided technical terminology and argumentation, Ross has advocated for music’s accessibility to a general readership. Musical sounds and styles, stories and recollections, and composers and performers have received equal attention throughout his reviews. His fluid sense of musical styles and genres is evident in his occasional attention to American popular music. His first book, ...

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