Author: Allan Kozinn

Allan Kozinn

Allan Kozinn wrote about music and musicians for The New York Times from 1977 to 2012, the last 21 years of that tenure as a staff critic. From 2012 to 2014, he covered culture more broadly for the Times, reporting on art, theater, film and television, as well as both pop and classical music.

Shortly after he left the Times at the end of 2014, he moved to Portland, Maine, where he briefly considered retiring into a life of composing, recording and occasionally reconvening his rock band, BAT. Instead, he began reviewing music for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Opera News, Musical America, Classical Review and the San Francisco Classical Voice, and writing liner notes and program book articles. In the summer of 2015, he became the classical music critic for the Portland Press Herald.

Allan earned degrees in music and journalism from Syracuse University, and has published several books, among them:Mischa Elman and the Romantic Style, The Guitar: The History, The Players, The Music,The Beatles: From the Cavern to the Rooftop, The New York Times Essential Library: Classical Music, Got That Something: How The Beatles’ ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ Changed Everything, and most recently, Spoleto 40: The Spoleto Festival USA, 40 Years.


Instruments and Us

Leo Bettinelli plays the red lasers of his Stimulierte Emissionen Klingen 2

After judging the Guthman New Instrument Design Competition, Allan Kozinn reflects on the history and cultural expectations surrounding the contraptions we use to turn musical ideas into meaningful sound.


What Critics Want

a cellist bends space 4

“Criticism has been around since the first caveman howled at the moon, and his friend said, ‘You know, I don’t think you howl so good,’” the great pianist Abbey Simon once told me.


New Music Gathering

Composer Performer Speed Dating at NMG2015 — at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 0

Born during a Facebook chat in 2013, this weekend-long program of panels, lectures, question-and-answer sessions, and killer concerts took place at the San Francisco Conservatory last January.



ICE performs at JACK: Performance Space. 0

One of the most enterprising new-music ensembles going, ICE (the International Contemporary Ensemble) does everything you’d expect from a group of its kind, including commissioning and premiering new works, and exploring backlist classics by Varèse, Boulez and other established masters.