In an otherwise informative and exemplary post on Blogging Basics (written with classical music bloggers in mind), Lisa Hirsch (aka Iron Tongue of Midnight) includes a bullet item that raised my eyebrows:
- I promise that you will get email or comments from performers you discuss. Give some thought to what and how much you want to say to them. Of course, sometimes it’ll be a performer thanking you for complimenting his or her performance.
Really? That certainly hasn’t been my experience. I’ve never received a comment or email from Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Pierre Boulez, Carl St.Clair, Cecilia Bartoli, Deborah Voigt, Placido Domingo, Jeremy Denk, Anne-Sophie Mutter, John Adams, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, William Bolcom or pretty much anyone else that I’ve reviewed and/or interviewed in my career. (In more than 20 years of covering St.Clair — I’ve written more about him than anyone else in the world — I may have gotten one or two emails from him).
Nor do the less celebrated engage. The musicians of the Pacific Symphony do not comment here, or elsewhere, or email me. (Recently, I ran into a Pacific Symphony musician I know and she hadn’t heard that I had been writing a celebrity column, five days a week, for the last 9 months, and I’m the only music critic in Orange County.) A single member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic comments on this blog (and he’s a friend), despite my coverage of that group dating back to the early 1980s. No one from Los Angeles Opera, or Long Beach Opera, or … etc.
If professional musicians read and conversed regularly with their local critics, music criticism in this country wouldn’t be on life support, I’d still have my award-winning blog at the newspaper, and I’d still be a full-time music critic (also award-winning).
But professional musicians couldn’t care less about music critics and their blogging brethren.
I’d like to be proven wrong. Go ahead, musicians I’ve written about, make my day. Leave a comment.