Obituary: Broadcaster and arts critic Martin Bookspan, 94

Posted on: May 4, 2021

“Martin Bookspan, a classical music broadcaster, author, critic and lecturer, who was well-known locally for his work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, died peacefully at his home in Aventura, Fla. on Thursday,” writes Tony Dobrowolski in Saturday’s (5/1) Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA). “Bookspan was 94. Known for his distinctive delivery during his 60-year broadcasting career, Bookspan served as a host and commentator for live broadcasts of the BSO, Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra under its founder, Leopold Stokowski. He was also the lead commentator for ‘Live at Lincoln Center’ on PBS for the show’s first 30 years, until 2006.… Bookspan … hosted the weekly ‘This Week from Tanglewood,’ a roundtable discussion series from both the stage at Tanglewood and the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield for many years. Bookspan was so well known at the BSO’s summer home in Lenox that the words ‘the Voice of Classical Music’ were inscribed on his regular seat in The Shed on his 85th birthday…. Bookspan wrote more than 500 reviews of newly released recordings … and wrote several books, including biographies of Andre Previn and Zubin Mehta…. Bookspan’s wife of 54 years, opera director and drama coach Janet Bookspan, died in 2008. He is survived by their three children.”