Obituary: Music and dance critic Allen Hughes, 87

Posted on: November 18, 2009

In Wednesday’s (11/18) New York Times, Allan Kozinn writes, “Allen Hughes, a longtime music and dance critic for The New York Times who was known for his encouragement of experimental dance companies and his love of the 20th-century French musical repertory, died on Monday in Sarasota, Fla. He was 87 and had lived in Sarasota since 2003. … Mr. Hughes was an urbane observer of the musical and dance worlds, covering them for The Times for 26 years, starting in 1960. He continued to write about dance for the paper after retiring in 1986. He also wrote a book review column for Chamber Music magazine from 1998 to 2002. Although he spent most of his career writing about music, Mr. Hughes regarded his dance criticism as his most important work. From 1963 to 1965, when he was the chief dance critic of The Times, he championed avant-garde groups, often to the consternation of mainstream ensembles, and advocated for multimedia presentations and other innovations. … He began his critical career writing reviews for Musical America from 1950 to 1953 before moving to Paris, where he wrote freelance articles. When he returned to New York in 1955, he joined The New York Herald Tribune as a music critic.”

Posted November 18, 2009