Oregon Cultural Trust

Music critics elect Allen, Bash

The Music Critics Association of North America chooses ArtsWatch writers Angela Allen as secretary and James Bash as treasurer.

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James Bash and Angela Allen: Elected by the Music Critics Association of North America.

Two regular Oregon ArtsWatch music writers, Angela Allen and James Bash, have been elected to the executive board of the Music Critics Association of North America, the continent’s leading professional organization for writers about traditional and contemporary classical music. Bash will serve a two-year term as the group’s treasurer and Allen a like term as secretary.

Elections were held at the 98-member group’s recent national convention in Chicago, where Arthur Kaptainis, who writes about music for the Montreal Gazette and is editor of Classical Voice North America, was chosen as president and Susan Geffen, of Clavier Companion, was elected vice president.

The critics’ group also announced its sixth annual choice for the year’s best new opera. The association’s five-member awards committee, which included The New Yorker’s Alex Ross and former New York Times critic John Rockwell, chose R.U.R. A Torrent of Light, an exploration of the relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence, by composer Nicole Lizée and librettist Nicolas Billon.

“Our savvy Awards Committee chose the winning opera, which beat a bevy of highly regarded operas, including John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra and  Rhiannon Giddens’ Omar (which won the 2023 Pulitzer for Music),” Bash commented. 

Allen noted that the Music Critics Association of North America is the oldest organization of professional critics on the continent. “MCANA is a member of the National Music Council, formed in 1940 to provide a forum for the discussion of the country’s national music affairs, to act as a clearing house for the joint operation and decisions of its members, and to work as a force to strengthen the importance of music in our society and culture,” she added. “The Council has a membership of 50 national music organizations encompassing every form of professional and commercial music activity.”

 Classical Voice North America  is the 10-year-old online journal of up-to-date music stories and reviews by MCANA members. Allen and Bash are both contributors.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Bob Hicks has been covering arts and culture in the Pacific Northwest since 1978, including 25 years at The Oregonian. Among his art books are Kazuyuki Ohtsu; James B. Thompson: Fragments in Time; and Beth Van Hoesen: Fauna and Flora. His work has appeared in American Theatre, Biblio, Professional Artist, Northwest Passage, Art Scatter, and elsewhere. He also writes the daily art-history series "Today I Am."

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