The Cleveland Plain Dealer has stopped its longtime classical music critic, Donald Rosenberg, from reviewing the Cleveland Orchestra. No reason has been given by the editors.
Rosenberg, who has been covering the orchestra for some 30 years, 16 of them at the Plain Dealer, is the author of “The Cleveland Orchestra Story: ‘Second to None’” (Gray & Co., 2000), widely acknowledged as the definitive source on the orchestra’s history.
Rosenberg is a past president of the Music Critics Association of North America and currently serves on that organization’s board of directors…. He will continue to write for the newspaper on various subjects, but staff writer Zachary Lewis has been assigned to cover the orchestra in his stead.
Rosenberg is 56. Lewis is 31. Perhaps the thinking is that the less experienced critic will be the kinder, gentler critic. Rosenberg has made no secret of his opinion that Music Director Franz Welser-Möst pales by comparison to his predecessors in the post. He is not alone in his opinion. When the orchestra announced in June that it had contracted the Austrian conductor through the year 2018 – giving him 16 years on the Cleveland podium – The New York Times commented that the news might “surprise” some observers who feel that the conductor “has not lived up to his potential.”