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Reviewer profiles

IRR's reviewers are experts from around the world, renowned for their scholarship, enthusiasm and lively writing style. Many are already highly regarded in their chosen musical fields but we will also introduce new writers who are establishing themselves in the world of classical music comment.

Martin Anderson is a writer and publisher. After a degree in mediaeval French and German at St Andrews, followed by 20 years in economics (he is a former Editor of Economic Affairs and The OECD Observer), he now concentrates on music. He is a regular contributor to The Independent, Fanfare, International Piano, Tempo, Klassisk in Norway, Finnish Musical Quarterly and various other publications, and has written extensively on Nordic and Baltic music. He publishes books on music under the name of Toccata Press and runs the CD label Toccata Classics, which specializes in neglected repertoire.

Nicholas Anderson is a writer. He was a BBC music producer for 20 years and has been a frequent broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. He contributed to Gramophone for 25 years and now writes for Early Music Today and the BBC Music Magazine. He has contributed to Companion to the Concerto (edited by Robert Layton) and the Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach (edited by M. Boyd). He is the author of Baroque Music from Monteverdi to Handel (Thames and Hudson; 1994).

Colin Anderson says his defining musical moment came when Mr Palmer (Felicity Palmer's father) played an LP of Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals to a class of itinerant 11-year-olds. With piano and violin lessons developing musical instinct, Colin's record collection grew serendipitously. He is the Editor of The Classical Source (, contributes to What's On in London and Fanfare and writes 'Suggested Listening' for the Philharmonia Orchestra's concert programmes.

Christopher Ballantine is the LG Joel Professor of Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa, and a Fellow of the University. His books are Music and its Social Meanings, Twentieth Century Symphony and Marabi Nights: Early South African Jazz and Vaudeville. He has also contributed chapters to various other books, and is the author of numerous articles in a diverse range of journals, including Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, Musical Quarterly, British Journal of Ethnomusicology, African Music, Music Review and Opera.

Lucy Beckett is a writer of criticism, poetry and fiction. She is a contributor to Music and Letters, The Times Literary Supplement and The Tablet, to cite just a few. Her published books include the Cambridge Opera Handbook on Wagner's Parsifal.

Piers Burton-Page joined the BBC in 1971, beginning a career of over 30 years working mostly for BBC Radio 3. These days he continues as a freelance producer, as well as with occasional presentation work and a growing career as a speaker on music. His particular interests are opera and British music of the past 100 years, and in 1994 he published Philharmonic Concerto, the authorized biography of Sir Malcolm Arnold. He is currently working on a book provisionally called Unfinished Symphonies.

Hugh Canning is Chief Music Critic of The Sunday Times, in which he writes about classical music every week. He is a regular contributor to Opera and a member of the magazine's editorial board. He is also the London correspondent of Opéra International, based in Paris.

Christopher Cook broadcasts regularly on BBC Radios 3, 4 and 5. He has presented Opera on 3 and Morning Performance for Radio 3 as well as Performance on 3. In 1993 he wrote and presented the Proms Chamber Music lunchtime concerts from the Victoria & Albert Museum and Chamber Music from the Wallace Collection for the network as well as reviewing for CD Review. Christopher also writes and reviews for Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. He has recently presented documentaries for Radios 3 and 4 on the history of the Stabat mater and the many composers who have chosen to set this liturgical text, the true story of St Cecilia, patron saint of music, on Rudolf Laban and a series of four programmes for the BBC World Service on the effects of 'Globalism' on music.

Mortimer H. Frank holds an M.A. in Musicology, a Ph.D. in English and is Professor Emeritus, City University of New York. Currently he teaches at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. His writings on music have appeared in a variety of learned and popular journals, including Fanfare, Opera News and The Chronicle of Higher Education in the US and Classic Record Collector in the UK. In the US he has also served as historical records critic for National Public Radio. His most recent book Arturo Toscanini: the NBC Years was published in 2002 by Amadeus Press.

David Gutman is a prolific writer of CD and programme notes who, since 1996, has provided up-to-the-minute suggestions for further listening and further reading in every BBC Proms concert-programme booklets during the season. He contributes reviews to The Independent, The Stage, The Classical Source and elsewhere and has written or edited four books on subjects ranging from Prokofiev to Bob Dylan. A new edition of The Lennon Companion (co-edited with Liz Thomson) was published by Da Capo Press in spring 2004. Until its untimely demise David also managed the specialist repertoire (recordings) section of the MCPS-PRS Alliance Limited, the UK copyright collecting society.

Julian Haylock is a former Editor of International Piano and CD Review (UK) magazines and Reviews Editor of CD Classics. He is the author of books on Rachmaninov, Mahler and Puccini, co-author of a series of annual pocket record guides to classical music on CD, and continues to contribute reviews, features and interviews to a wide range of publications. He is a prolific writer of CD and programme notes and was the producer of a series of recordings that included the piano concertos of Alexander Tcherepnin. He has at other times been on-air reviewer for LBC radio and a freelance violinist/violist/conductor.

William Hedley has spent a lifetime working with young and amateur musicians. Following studies at the Royal College of Music and King’s College, London, a career in education beckoned. The extra-curricular side of things was always his main interest during his years as a secondary school music teacher in and around London. In the two decades since he moved to Southwest France he has brought some British influence to French musical education, and extensive work with amateur choirs and orchestras has ensured that adult musicians are not neglected. He is a freelance contributor to websites and writer of CD booklet notes. He is a trustee of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society, and Editor of the Society Journal since 2005.

Simon Heighes is a writer, producer and broadcaster, but above all he is a music lover and, of course, an avid CD collector. His musical interests range across several eras - from Medieval to Classical - though he's particularly comfortable in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He is the author of a book on the music of Handel's English contemporaries, the architect of an award-winning reconstruction of Bach's St Mark Passion, and has contributed to the Oxford Composer Companion to Bach and The Revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. His latest interest is in the Baroque music of Central and South America, on which he has presented a series for the BBC World Service; he can also be heard on BBC Radio 3's weekly CD Review.

John T. Hughes who specializes in vocal music, is also a regular contributor to Classic Record Collector, in which his article 'Voice Box' contains reviews of vocal reissues. He also contributed to the now-defunct International Opera Collector. He is the Deputy Editor of The Record Collector, a magazine concerned with singers of the past, and is chairman of The Recorded Vocal Art Society. His other great interest is cricket.

Ian Julier worked with Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers in London for the past 27 years, collaborating with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Magnus Lindberg, Robin Holloway, James McMillan and Mark-Anthony Turnage to produce publications and performing materials for a wide range of new works as well as managing major back-catalogue projects involving Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Britten, Elgar and Delius. He is also active as a pianist, accompanist and freelance music journalist. 2004 brought a move to Glyndebourne to pursue long-held operatic ambitions within a more performance-related environment.

Robert Layton is the author of the standard Master Musicians study of Sibelius and has translated Erik Tawaststjerna's five-volume Sibelius biography. He was the BBC's Music Talks Producer in the 1960s and 1970s and a senior music producer in the 1980s. He was also General Editor of the BBC Music Guides and is the author of books on Berwald and Grieg and Dvorák's symphonies and concertos. He has for many years been one of the three authors of The Penguin CD Guide.

Robert T. Levine is a New York born-and-bred music writer with a particular interest in music for the voice. His work has appeared in many periodicals and newspapers. He was the co-originator of Tower Records' magazine Classical Pulse!, founded and organized's classical music department and is the author of many books, including The Story of the Orchestra, four volumes (Il trovatore, The Marriage of Figaro, The Flying Dutchman and Fidelio) in the Black Dog & Leventhal Opera Library, and, most recently, Maria Callas: A Musical Biography. He lives in New York City and Woodstock, New York.

Peter Lynan was a chorister and then organ scholar at Liverpool Cathedral, after which he won an organ scholarship to Oxford, where he read music. He was awarded a DPhil for his research into music in eighteenth-century Britain and he is the author of numerous entries on the subject in the Oxford Companion to Music. Outside the eighteenth century, his musical interests lie mainly in keyboard and vocal music (particularly church music and oratorio). He has edited Maurice Greene’s oratorio Jephtha for the BBC and a volume of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century organ, harpsichord and piano concertos for Musica Britannica, for which series he is currently editing Thomas Arne’s Judith.

Calum MacDonald is Editor of Tempo, the quarterly magazine of modern music. He is a freelance writer, broadcaster, lecturer and contributor to many periodicals and symposia, as well as to The Revised New Grove. His book on the music of Edgard Varèse, Astronomer in Sound, was published last year by Kahn & Averill. Other books include the Master Musicians volumes on Brahms and Schoenberg, a three-volume study of the 32 symphonies of Havergal Brian, monographs on the British composers John Foulds and Ronald Stevenson, catalogues of Dallapiccola, Shostakovich and Dorati and a tourist guide to the city of Edinburgh. He also composes.

Robert Matthew-Walker is a composer (composition pupil of Darius Milhaud), author and critic. He contributes to The Musical Times, Music and Musicians, Gramophone, Musical Opinion, Tempo, Hi-Fi News & Record Review, National Dictionary of Biography and many more. He is the author of 22 books on music. He was Editor of Music and Musicians (1984-88) and is the composer of over 100 works and the producer of over 150 classical albums.

Ivan Moody is a composer, conductor and writer. His music is available on the ECM, Hyperion, Telarc, Gothic, Arte Nova and Ars Musici labels. He has written for Contemporary Music Review, Early Music, The Musical Times and Tempo, contributes regularly to Gramophone and Goldberg, and is also a contributor to the Revised New Grove Dictionary. He has recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Echi Lontani Festival in Cagliari, Sardinia.

David Newsholme is Assistant Organist at Canterbury Cathedral and Organist of the King's School, Canterbury. He is currently completing a Ph.D. dissertation at the University of York.  David has contributed reviews to Musicology Australia, the Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies, Organists' Review and Cathedral Music Magazine.

Andrew O'Connor studied law and philosophy at Sydney University. He worked for some years in classical musical retailing and then in law enforcement. He is now employed by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Together with Christopher Price, he is repertory adviser to the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

Roger Pines, broadcast commentator and dramaturg at Lyric Opera of Chicago, has contributed articles for magazines and programmes of distinguished opera companies throughout North America. In addition to programme notes for recordings on six major labels, Roger has also written for The Times (London), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Opera News, Opera, The Opera Quarterly and BBC Music Magazine. A frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and other vocal competitions, he has been a career and repertoire counsellor for many major artists. Roger has appeared annually as a panellist on the Met broadcasts’ ‘Opera Quiz’ since 2006.

Christopher Price is a lawyer working in Sydney, Australia. He is a repertoire adviser to the period-instrument Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. He wrote on Early Music and reviewed Early Music recordings for the Australian classical music review, Soundscapes, until its demise in 1997 and also for the international Early Music magazine, Goldberg, until its demise in November 2008.

Stephen Pruslin As a pianist Stephen Pruslin has been called 'one of the world's outstanding interpreters of contemporary music', based on his performances at every major international festival and his dozens of commercial recordings. His solo repertoire has focused on Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Ravel, Debussy and Falla, as well as significant works by Carter, Maxwell Davies and Xenakis. He has performed and recorded with Boulez, Berio and Lutoslawski. Stephen is author of the scenario and libretto for Birtwistle's opera Punch and Judy, now considered a contemporary classic, of which the award-winning Decca LP recording, released on CD by Etcetera, has been included among 'The Vital Fifty' operas on compact disc by The Guardian and BBC Radio 3.

Mark Pullinger is a writer and music critic. He writes for Opera Britannia, a website rapidly gaining a reputation for taking no prisoners in its detailed, honest reviews. He taught in Winchester for many years, an expert in mathematical progression and teaching able children. He holds an M.A. from the University of Winchester in Writing for Children. When not immersed in his vast music collection, he can usually be found watching cricket.

Peter Quinn has written on classical music and jazz for Tempo, Jazzwise, The Times Literary Supplement, BBC Music magazine and The Arts Desk, among others. His performing experience runs the gamut from John Cage at the Barbican to jazz fusion at Ronnie Scott’s to traditional Irish music at the BBC Proms. He wrote his Ph.D. on the music of Arvo Pärt.

Peter J. Rabinowitz is Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He divides his time between music and narrative theory. He is the author of Before Reading and co-author, with Michael W. Smith, of Authorizing Readers; his articles range in subject from Dostoevsky to Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth, from detective fiction to the ideology of musical structure, from Shostakovich to Scott Joplin. An active music critic for more than 25 years, he currently serves as a Contributing Editor of Fanfare.

Marc Rochester Since the late 1980s, when he was invited by the Government of Sarawak to work with the ethnic musicians of Borneo and produce the first commercial recording of their music, Marc has lived in Malaysia, lecturing at the country's first university music department and, since 1998, working with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra as its organist and programme annotator. He writes programme notes not just for the Malaysian Philharmonic but also for the Singapore Symphony and many other Asian orchestras, while continuing his work as a broadcaster and critic and writing for such magazines as Gramophone, Organist's Review and
Graham Rogers read music at York University, and works in BBC Radio 3 production. He writes for The Stage, Opera and The Classical Source, and wrote for several years for the now-discontinued classical pages of BBC online. He has written numerous CD and programme notes, including for the BBC Proms, and contributed to the 2007 book 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die (ed Matthew Rye). As Music Director of the light operatic New London Opera Group, Graham regularly conducts performances of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas.
Graham Rogers read music at York University, and works in BBC Radio 3 production. He writes for The Stage, Opera and The Classical Source, and wrote for several years for the now-discontinued classical pages of BBC online. He has written numerous CD and programme notes, including for the BBC Proms, and contributed to the 2007 book 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die (ed Matthew Rye). As Music Director of the light operatic New London Opera Group, Graham regularly conducts performances of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas.

Carl Rosman is a clarinettist and conductor. He was born in England, grew up in Australia and now lives between Paris and Köln. He has written widely on music, contributing to publications such as Soundscapes, Sounds Australian and Musik & Ästhetik. He has performed throughout Australia and Europe, as well as in the USA, Japan and South Korea, both as a soloist and as a member of the new music ensembles musik Fabrik, Elision and Libra. He has worked directly with a wide range of composers from Gavin Bryars to Brian Ferneyhough.
Michael Round is a pianist, teacher, accompanist, arranger, writer, music editor and occasional conductor. His 30-plus years work as keyboard player with the four London and other orchestras brought him into close contact with personalities like Shostakovich, Bernstein, Khachaturian, Ligeti, John T. Williams, Henry Mancini, the Three Tenors, Ravi Shankar, Paul McCartney and Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Less conventional work has included film soundtracks, West End musicals, travel to over 20 different countries (including spells as hotel pianist in the Arabian Gulf and pianist on the Orient Express) and two trips to Rio de Janeiro, researching and playing Villa-Lobos and becoming the only non-Brazilian to reach the final of the 1988 Villa-Lobos International Piano Competition.
   Piano accompanist since his schooldays, he has also taught at Kingston University for over 30 years, and at Trinity College of Music throughout the 1990s. Apart from IRR, he writes regularly for Music Teacher and International Piano.  His series ‘The Celeste-Player’s Guide to the Orchestra’ ran for around 20 episodes in Classical Music (with a shorter spin-off on BBC Radio 3) and his ‘Diary of an Accompanist’ currently appears in International Piano (formerly Piano) magazine.  He is the regular co-author of teaching notes for ABRSM and Trinity-Guildhall piano grade-exam syllabuses. His Ravel orchestrations were championed by Vladimir Ashkenazy and Leonard Slatkin and are recorded on the Japanese Exton label.

Patrick Rucker studied piano performance at Texas Christian University, The Juilliard School and the Franz Liszt Academy of Music under Lili Kraus, Ferenc Rados, Kurt Appelbaum and Nina Svetlanova. He made his Carnegie Recital Hall début in 1980. At the Smithsonian Institution, he was co-curator of the exhibition Piano 300, celebrating the tercentennial of the piano’s invention. He has written for both popular and scholarly journals, as well as television programmes broadcast on PBS. In 2001 he was honoured with the Music for Life Award by the National Association of Music Merchants for his services to American music. He lives in Washington, DC.
Thérèse W. Saba is a writer and book editor. She has worked as News Editor on the British monthly Classical Guitar magazine since 1990, and is the London Correspondent for the Japanese magazine Gendai Guitar. With a broad love of music from contemporary classical to flamenco, she has contributed to the German contemporary music dictionary Komponisten der Gegenwart and was the founder Editor of the quarterly Flamenco International Magazine. She now writes about flamenco in her blog called My Flamenco Diary.

Nick Salwey graduated from Oxford University in 1990 with a First in Music, whilst also gaining piano performers’ diplomas from the Royal College and the Guildhall School of Music. After a Masters in Politics from the LSE and a stint at the European Commission in Brussels, he returned to music, teaching piano, composition, academic music and coaching chamber music at Eton, Winchester College, and at Oxford, where he was a Lecturer at New College. He gained a doctorate in 2001 for a thesis on late eighteenth-century piano music, about which he has published articles for journals in the UK and Austria.  Nick has performed on BBC Radio 3, ITV and Channel 4, has reviewed concerts for The Independent, books for the New York Observer, and discs for International Record Review and International Piano magazines. In 2002 he joined the full-time staff at Winchester College, where he is Head of Piano and Deputy Master of Music.

Nigel Simeone is a freelance musicologist and writer, having previously taught at the universities of Nottingham, Bangor and Sheffield. His books include several on French music: he was co-author of the acclaimed biography Messiaen, and also wrote Paris – A Musical Gazetteer. Other books include the standard catalogue of the works of Janácek (co-written with John Tyrrell), and in 2009 he published a new book on Bernstein’s West Side Story, featuring the first detailed study of the work’s manuscript sources. He is currently working on a book of Leonard Bernstein’s letters for Yale University Press. Nigel is also active as a conductor and performer. He has been a fanatical record collector since he was a teenager and as a result has developed a passion for memorable performances of a very wide repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to The Muppet Show.
Mark Tanner is a pianist, writer and composer. He has appeared extensively as soloist, including five recent appearances at Wigmore Hall, alongside 300 recitals on cruise ships. He has an especial interest in British contemporary music, having commissioned, edited, recorded and broadcast a number of works by prominent composers. CDs featuring York Bowen, Peter Wishart, Constant Lambert, John McLeod, Graham Fitkin, Philip Martin and Graham Lynch have attracted widespread acclaim. Mark has a Ph.D. on Liszt and has published articles for 19th Century Music and the Liszt Society, as well as hundreds of reviews and articles for IRR, Classical Music, Musical Opinion, International Piano and Piano Professional. He has published over 20 volumes of editions, compositions and arrangements for Edition Peters, Spartan Press and Europa Edition, and as an ABRSM examiner has travelled extensively. Mark teaches, lectures, adjudicates festivals and competitions; he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of Mensa and an Hon. BC.
Michael Tanner taught philosophy at Cambridge University from 1961-2003. His books include Nietzsche (1994) and Wagner (1996), and he has been the opera critic of The Spectator since 1996. He has reviewed CDs for Classic CD, ClassicFm, Opera and other journals.

Roger Thomas has written for Gramophone, Piano, Music Teacher, Modern Drummer, International DJ, Unknown Public and many other publications. He currently contributes to BBC Music Magazine and Jazz Review. He is the author of over a dozen reference books (published by Heinemann) for use in music education and is currently preparing a further series for Hodder Wayland. An inveterate percussionist, he performs regularly in both orchestral and jazz contexts.

Charles Timbrell is Professor of Piano at Howard University in Washington, DC. He has performed throughout the USA and Europe, recorded on the Dante label (France), and made two recent DVDs on French music for IMC (Japan). He is the author of French Pianism, performing editions of piano works by Chopin and Bizet, and a biography of the pianist/composer Walter Rummel. His articles and reviews have also appeared in Music & Letters, International Piano, Fanfare, The Revised New Grove Dictionary and the Cambridge Companion to Debussy.

Raymond S. Tuttle works with student discipline and alcohol education at the University of Mary Washington, a four-year liberal arts institution in Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA. He has contributed to a wide range of music-related websites and journals, including Fanfare, Soundscapes, Miami New Times, Esquire and Piano & Keyboard, and has written booklet notes for many CD releases. He studied piano for more than ten years.

John Warrack was formerly a Lecturer in Music at the University of Oxford, which conferred the degree of DLitt. on him in 1989. His books include studies of Weber and Tchaikovsky, and he is co-author of The Oxford Dictionary of Opera. His most recent book is German Opera: from the Beginnings to Wagner. He is on the Editorial Boards of the New Berlioz Edition and the Neue Weber Gesamtausgabe, for whom he has edited works, and he has translated operas for companies including ENO, English Touring Opera, Oxford Opera and the Buxton and Ryedale Festivals.

Richard Whitehouse has written widely on twentieth-century music and culture. He has also written many programme notes and CD booklet notes, contributes to various websites and has presented a paper at the Nikos Skalkottas-Tage in Berlin. He is currently editing the Boosey & Hawkes Music Diary, and recently contributed to a TV documentary on the music of Luigi Nono.


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