"I'm surprised that some people think that artists shouldn't write criticism," says Phoenix classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz, who last week faced questions about his ethics from the Boston Globe because an orchestra he covers was setting his poetry to music. "I can't believe that there is anything wrong with anyone, let alone a teacher and artist who also happens to be a critic, taking part in a worthy educational enterprise such as this one, a modest effort to further the education of a handful of young classical musicians," says the Pulitzer-winning critic. "It's a sad state of affairs that anyone thinks this service to a new generation of composers and musicians compromises my standing as a critic."

Continue ReadingBoston Phoenix Critic Hits Back on Ethics Question

Phoenix classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has signed a contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to have some of his poems set to music, which he will be paid for. The Globe's Geoff Edgers thinks this crosses an ethical line, since Schwartz covers the orchestra. But Phoenix executive editor Peter Kadzis disagrees, telling the Globe that Schwartz, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994, "works in the now waning tradition of artist/critic, not unlike Virgil Thomson. That the Tanglewood fellows would choose to set his poetry to music is a mark of distinction, not a compromise." The Poynter Institute's Al Tompkins tells the Globe that, while the arrangement isn't that egregious, "it presents, if not a conflict, the appearance of conflict of interest. You can avoid this conflict by, at minimum, paying your own way or having the paper pay your way."

Continue ReadingIs Boston Phoenix Music Critic’s Deal with Orchestra Unethical?

Berl Schwartz thanks the AAN membership for admitting City Pulse on Saturday in a letter to the editor. "This was our fourth time to apply, and I am sure the membership committee was tired of looking at us, so allow me to thank you on behalf of its members as well," he writes. He also says he's printing a banner to hang in the paper's office that quotes from a membership committee report on City Pulse: "It's still not perfect."

Continue ReadingCity Pulse Publisher Says ‘Thank You’