Lisa Irontongue has alerted us to the existence of a whole institute for (classical) music criticism - you know it's classical because they don't specify what kind of music; we classicists are that arrogant - um, next week.
Wow, I should go. This is the profession I've fallen into, and have practiced for ten years now, though I'm conscious of my status as a lowly practitioner of it. I might learn something from all the renowned names in the field who will be speaking.
This is not the sets of all-day series of presentations that the Stanford "Reactions to the Record" symposia are - and, by the way, I should mention that there's another one of those coming up in April. I suspect the famous guests will be spending much of their time closeted with the student fellows, and the rest of us will have to be content with a few public events.
There's a keynote speech by Anthony Tommasini - not the name on the participant list I most respect, but oh well - on Wednesday, and panels on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. I hope to go to all of those.
Then four of the critics are giving the pre-concert lectures to concerts by different ensembles on Thursday-Sunday. Plus, they're holding an "Everyone's a Critic" audience participation, whereby audience members are invited to submit reviews of those concerts, with a prize to be given for the best on at a ceremony on Monday morning.
I'm going to skip out on all of that, though. I wasn't planning on attending any of those concerts, and none of the programs particularly excite me. I'd have to study up on most of the repertoire to be able to write competent reviews, which I'm not going to do without surety of being paid. Plus I'm not sure whether, as technically a professional in the field, I should be eligible for an audience prize. And most of all because the deadlines are too tight. I'm not a journalist by training, and a 9 AM deadline after an evening concert is way too soon for me. I might dash off a brief comment on LJ when I come home at night, but never when I've come from so far away as SF or Berkeley, and 9 the next morning is about when I'm ready to think about starting my review.
I have, however, started thinking about some of the issues in my own concerns about the work I do that I hope this institute will address, and I may write about those later.