Teaching tomorrow’s critics?

Five days spent working with gifted college students and talking about every aspect of music criticism at the Steve and Cynthia Rubin Institute at Oberlin last week proved a great crucible. I don’t know how the time went over with the students, but it certainly made me think a lot about what I do, to the point of self-consciousness. That’s nothing to how self-conscious the students must have felt having their work picked apart by a panel that included me, Alex Ross, Tim Page, John Rockwell, and Heidi Waleson, but they did some nice work (you can read it here) and there were two worthy recipients of the prize and the honorable mention.

We did not, however, teach the students what to do when they labor over a blog post full of links for a couple of hours and the computer eats it. Hence the delay on my posting of the weekend’s reviews; stay tuned.

Iannis Xenakis’s Echange was on the concert that was for me the best of the Institute; many of the students, however, did not agree. How many readers of this blog appreciated Xenakis when they were in college? I might not have, but I probably would have felt I was supposed to.

Anne Midgette came to the Washington Post in 2008, when she consolidated her various cultural interests under the single title of chief classical music critic. She blogs at The Classical Beat.

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