Obituary: classical record producer Andrew Kazdin, 77

Posted on: December 1, 2011

In Thursday’s (12/1) New York Times, Allan Kozinn writes, “Andrew Kazdin, a producer known for his recordings of the New York Philharmonic, the pianists Glenn Gould, Murray Perahia and Ruth Laredo, and the organist E. Power Biggs, and who revolutionized classical recording by using techniques more common to popular music, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 77. … His insistence that the details of a work be heard clearly led him, in the 1970s, to pioneer an approach to symphonic recording that borrowed from techniques used in the studio with popular music. The traditional approach involved setting up a few microphones—sometimes only two, placed at a distance from the orchestra—to capture a performance much as it would sound in a concert hall. Mr. Kazdin put microphones on every section of the orchestra. Using a 16-track recorder and putting each section on its own track, he had the flexibility to create his own sound balances during the mixing sessions, long after the players went home. … In the early 1960s he landed a job at Columbia Records. While there, Mr. Kazdin produced some of George Szell’s last recordings with the Cleveland Orchestra and virtually all the recordings by the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Boulez and Zubin Mehta.”

Posted December 1, 2011