Longtime Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich to retire on January 15

Posted on: January 12, 2021

“Forty-three years ago … I sent a paper that I’d written for a class to an editor at the Tribune [about] the status of contemporary classical music in Chicago,” writes Howard Reich in Monday’s (1/11) Chicago Tribune. “To my amazement, the Tribune published it … which led to me joining the staff in 1983, which now has led to my retirement from the newspaper on Jan. 15.” Since John von Rhein’s retirement as classical music critic in 2018, Reich has covered both jazz and classical music. “All six of my books and all three of my documentary films … originated as stories in the Tribune…. I served on the Pulitzer Prize music jury four times. The first time, in 1997, … Wynton Marsalis’ ‘Blood on the Fields’ … became the first jazz composition—and the first non-classical work—to win…. After leaving the Tribune, I plan to … write books and films and [fulfill] speaking engagements. Coming next: this year’s international release of ‘For the Left Hand,’ a … documentary inspired by my Tribune stories about Chicagoan Norman Malone, who transcended personal tragedy to become a concert pianist.” Reich includes “words of wisdom” from people he interviewed at the Tribune, including Frank Sinatra, Elie Wiesel, Riccardo Muti, and Ella Fitzgerald.