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Orchestra critic sues critical orchestra

My exposure to classical music typically stops and starts July 4 when the Boston Pops plays Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” as fireworks explode.

But back in September, I came across a blog post by Tim Smith, The Sun’s classical music critic, on the removal of Don Rosenberg as classical music critic at The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Rosenberg had covered the Cleveland Orchestra for almost 30 years and even wrote a book about the group. He was allegedly re-assigned for being too, well, critical of music director Franz Welser-Möst.

The blog post resulted in a spirited yet (mostly) sophisticated debate about Rosenberg, Welser-Möst and the nature of criticism and critics. Rosenberg’s demotion resulted in him filing a lawsuit against the Plain Dealer and orchestra management last week, seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Rosenberg alleges in his lawsuit that the orchestra launched a campaign against him in response to his stories and pressed the Plain Dealer to remove him from his position. Orchestra management responded by saying it was merely voicing its opinion — just like Rosenberg. The newspaper’s editors said the decision was an internal one.

Can’t wait to read how the classical music blogosphere responds to the latest development in what has become a sour note.

DANNY JACOBS, Legal Affairs Writer


  1. Yeah, but Danny, are you gonna actually FOLLOW the “classical music blogosphere’s” response to this, or just turn the TV on, then off again during the Boston Pops July 4th Special next summer? Just curious.

    ROBBIE WHELAN, Business Writer