Former LA Weekly classical music critic Alan Rich died Friday, apparently of natural causes, the Orange County Register reports. LAObserved reported on the writer's death earlier. Rich's age would have been about 86.
Via Twitter, the Weekly's Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold called Rich “the last great critic in LA.” Los Angeles Times pop critic Ann Powers tweeted, “RIP Alan Rich, grand old fella of classical music writing.” At the Register, Timothy Mangan ran an appreciation he first wrote on the occasion of Rich's 75th birthday in 1999.
“After study with musicological greats such as Joseph Kerman, Manfred Bukofzer and Otto Erich Deutsch, Alan wrote for a slew of publications including The New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek (back in the good old days when Time and Newsweek had music critics) and New York magazine,” Mangan writes. “I met him in 1988, after his move to California, at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.”
“Alan reacts to nothing so strongly as a piece of music,” he writes. “He knows that when he attends a concert he'll inevitably leave with his emotions stirred or gumption up. The writing reflects this fact beautifully. It is written in the heat of the moment, con brio.”
LAObserved states that Rich was fired from the Weekly in 2008 after 16 years at the paper, which hasn't since employed a full-time classical music writer.