Obituary: Classical music writer Michael Steinberg, 80

Posted on: July 27, 2009

In Monday’s (7/27) Boston Globe , Jeremy Eichler writes, “Michael Steinberg, the widely admired music writer whose words, as critic for the Globe and later as a program annotator for several major American orchestras, helped frame the listening experience of countless music lovers, died yesterday in a hospice in Edina, Minn. The cause was complications related to cancer, according to his son, Sebastian. He was 80. … Mr. Steinberg served as the Globe’s classical music critic from 1964 to 1976, and then spent the remaining decades of his career primarily working as a program annotator for ensembles such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. Richard Dyer, who in 1976 succeeded Mr. Steinberg as the Globe’s classical music critic, described his predecessor as ‘the musical conscience of Boston’ and as ‘beyond question the most distinguished music critic of his generation.’ … Program notes can be an insular genre, but in Mr. Steinberg’s hands, a piece of music typically opened out onto the world of its time. He also was unafraid of showing passion when writing about music he truly loved.”

Photo credit: Karl Gehrke

Posted July 27, 2009