Obituary: Daniel Webster, longtime Philadelphia classical music critic, 86

Posted on: May 18, 2018

“Daniel Webster, 86, whose perceptive, elegant criticism chronicled the classical music scene in Philadelphia and beyond for nearly four decades, died Sunday at home in Wilmington, said his wife, Karen Gripp,” writes Peter Dobrin in Monday’s (5/14) Philadelphia Inquirer. He was the Inquirer’s classical music critic from 1963 to 1999. “Mr. Webster was one of only a handful of journalists to travel with the Philadelphia Orchestra to China in 1973 as the communist regime cautiously cracked open the door to Western culture…. Harvey Daniel Webster … trained as a French horn player and he recalled his astonishment as a young adult encountering his first Beethoven Symphony No. 3. It arrived over the car radio, and he pulled to the side of the road to hear it to its conclusion. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he [earned] a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Soft-spoken and prone to deflecting praise, Mr. Webster had his first job at the Newburyport (Mass.) Daily News…. He expressed wonder most often at the unlikely profession of listening to music and telling readers what he thought of it, and at the growth of the art form itself. Wrote Mr. Webster in his farewell column: ‘Institutions may wobble, but music does not.’ ”

Posted May 18, 2018