After 33 Years, Boston Globe's Critic Steps Down on Optimistic Note

Classic Arts News   After 33 Years, Boston Globe's Critic Steps Down on Optimistic Note
Richard Dyer, the highly respected classical music critic of The Boston Globe, has stepped down after 33 years on the job with an optimistic farewell essay.

In an article published September 24, Dyer wrote, "No one can say what the future of music will be, but that music will have a future is certain."

He admits that there are, of course, problems in the industry, including difficult financial situations for many orchestras and opera companies and the oft-mentioned graying audience. But he points out that life for musicians in any era has never been easy, and that it often takes decades for major works to become firmly established in the repertoire.

"The history of music is among other things a history of difficult moments that visionary figures have found new and unexpected ways to get through," he writes. "And while musical institutions and the funding structures that supported them — the church, the aristocracy, governments, foundations, individuals — have flourished and withered, come and gone, music itself survives. The reason for this is that music has qualities in it that can't be found anywhere else. And people are always going to listen to it because it addresses fundamental human needs."

He also points out that while traditional aspects of the industry, like network radio and local record stores, are disappearing, in their place have sprung other sources like the Internet.

But, he concludes, while the music industry, media and educators play an important role, the primary responsibility lies with the performer. "This remains, as it has always been, the primary challenge for the creator or the interpreter, the composer who creates the message and the performer who delivers it. If the message and the performance are human, compelling, craftsmanlike, and honest, they will reach the public. 'From the heart,' Beethoven wrote on the score of the Missa Solemnis, 'may it go to the heart.'"

Fortunately, the future of classical music writing at the Globe looks promising, as the paper recent hired former New York Times critic Jeremy Eichler, 31, to succeed Dyer.

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