READ List of Famous Music Critics

Reference
32.3k views 140 items

List of famous music critics, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top music critics in the world? This includes the most prominent music critics, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable music critics is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic music critics were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned music critics.

Items here include everything from Lester Bangs to Hector Berlioz.

From reputable, prominent, and well known music critics to the lesser known music critics of today, these are some of the best professionals in the music critic field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous music critics ever?" and "What are the names of famous music critics?" then you're in the right place. 

Claude Debussy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, though he himself disliked the term when ...more

Robert Alexander Schumann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to ...more

Richard Wagner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Richard Wagner is a film score composer.

Patrick Stump is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Patrick Martin Stumph, known professionally as Patrick Vaughn Stump, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, actor and music critic, best known as the lead vocalist, ...more

Hector Berlioz is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts. Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra ...more

César Cui is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
César Antonovich Cui was a Russian composer and music critic of French and Lithuanian descent. His profession was as an army officer and a teacher of fortifications, and his avocational ...more

Robert Christgau is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Robert Thomas Christgau is an American essayist, music journalist, and self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics". One of the earliest professional rock critics, Christgau is ...more

Paul Hindemith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Paul Hindemith was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor. Notable compositions include his song cycle Das Marienleben and opera Mathis der Maler.

David Hajdu is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
David Hadju is an author and professor.

Michael Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Michael Kennedy George Michael Sinclair Kennedy CBE was an English biographer, journalist and writer on classical music. Kennedy was born in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, and attended Berkhamsted School. On ...more

Hyman Taubman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Hyman Taubman Hyman Howard Taubman was an American music critic, theater critic, and author.

Lester Bangs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Leslie Conway "Lester" Bangs was an American music journalist, author, and musician. Often cited during his lifetime as "America's Greatest Rock Critic", he wrote for Creem ...more

Paul Dukas is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Paul Abraham Dukas was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his ...more

Gustav Kobbé is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Gustav Kobbé was an American music critic and author, best known for his guide to the operas, The Complete Opera Book, first published in the United States in 1919 and the United Kingdom

E.T.A. Hoffmann is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, who was born Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. His ...more

Roger Sessions is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Roger Huntington Sessions was an American composer, critic, and teacher of music.

Theodor W. Adorno is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Theodor W. Adorno was a German sociologist, philosopher and musicologist known for his critical theory of society. He was a leading member of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, whose work ...more

Nicolas Slonimsky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Nicolas Slonimsky, born Nikolai Leonidovich Slonimskiy, was a Russian-born American conductor, author, pianist, composer and lexicographer. Best known for his writing and musical reference work, ...more

Georges Auric is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Georges Auric was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault. He was considered one of Les Six, a group of artists informally associated with Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie. Before he ...more

Nelson George is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Nelson George is an African-American author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker. He has been nominated twice for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Vasily Botkin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Vasily Petrovich Botkin was a Russian essayist, literary, art and music critic, translator and publicist.

Adam Mokan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Music Critics

Richard Morrison is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Richard Morrison Richard Morrison is an English music critic. As the chief music critic of The Times, he writes a wide-ranging cultural column which appears on Fridays. He also writes for the monthly publication ...more

Herbert Eimert is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Herbert Eimert was a German music theorist, musicologist, journalist, music critic, editor, radio producer, and composer.

Charles-Marie Widor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor was a French organist, composer and teacher.

Hans Keller is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Hans Keller was an Austrian-born British musician and writer who made significant contributions to musicology and music criticism, as well as being an insightful commentator on such disparate ...more

Dave Marsh is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Dave Marsh is an American music critic, author, editor and radio talk show host. He was a formative editor of Creem magazine, has written for various publications such as Newsday, The Village ...more

Ernst Krenek is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Ernst Krenek was an Austrian, later American, composer of Czech origin. He explored atonality and other modern styles and wrote a number of books, including Music Here and Now, a study of ...more

Alfred Brendel is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Alfred Brendel KBE is an Austrian pianist, poet and author. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest pianists of all time.

Robert Smythe Hichens is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Robert Hichens was an English journalist, novelist, music lyricist, short story writer, music critic and collaborated on successful plays. He is best remembered as a satirist of the ...more

Cecil Gray is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Cecil Gray was a Scottish music critic and composer. He published books on the composers Jean Sibelius, Peter Warlock and Carlo Gesualdo, the last of these co-authored by the same Warlock; also ...more

Valentino Bucchi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Valentino Bucchi was an Italian composer.

Giuseppe Baini is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Giuseppe Baini was an Italian priest, music critic, and composer of church music. He was born at Rome. He was instructed in composition by his uncle, Lorenzo Baini, and afterwards by G. ...more

Eric Salzman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Eric Salzman is an American composer, scholar, author, impresario, music critic, and record producer. He is known for his work advancing the concept of "New Music Theater" as an ...more

Alan Rich is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Alan Rich was an American music critic who served on the staff of many newspapers and magazines on both coasts. Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, he first studied medicine at Harvard ...more

Adolphe-Charles Adam is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Adolphe Charles Adam was a French composer and music critic. A prolific composer of operas and ballets, he is best known today for his ballets Giselle and Le corsaire, his operas Le postillon de ...more

François-Joseph Fétis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
François-Joseph Fétis was a Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and one of the most influential music critics of the 19th century. His enormous compilation of biographical ...more

Marc Pincherle is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Marc Pincherle was born in Constantine on June 13, 1888 and died in Paris on June 20, 1974. A French musicologist, music critic and violinist, he was the pupil of Louis Laloy, André Pirro ...more

Lars-Erik Larsson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Lars-Erik Larsson was a Swedish composer.

Erkki Salmenhaara is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Erkki Olavi Salmenhaara was a Finnish composer and musicologist.

Bill Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
G.W. Hopkins was a British composer, pianist and music critic. Hopkins was born in Prestbury, Cheshire and educated at Rossall School, Lancashire; his mother's learning difficulties meant she ...more

Alex Ross is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Alex Ross is an American music critic. He has been on the staff of The New Yorker magazine since 1996. He also authored the books The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century and Listen ...more

Stanley Sadie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Stanley John Sadie, CBE was an influential and prolific British musicologist, music critic, and editor. He was editor of the sixth edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which ...more

Eduard Hanslick is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Eduard Hanslick was a German Bohemian music critic.

Masanori Ito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Masanori Ito is a Japanese music critic and radio personality, better known as Seisoku Ito or Masa Ito. His work is specialized in heavy metal and hard rock, and he is known as the leading music ...more

Jim DeRogatis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
James "Jim" DeRogatis is an American music critic and co-host of Sound Opinions. DeRogatis has written articles for magazines such as Spin, Guitar World and Modern Drummer, and for ...more

Gianandrea Gavazzeni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Gianandrea Gavazzeni was an Italian pianist, conductor, composer and musicologist. Gavazzeni was born in Bergamo. For almost 50 years, starting from 1948, he was principal conductor at La Scala, ...more

Martin Bernheimer is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Martin Bernheimer is an American music critic. He studied at Brown University and the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, along with the famous musicologist Gustave Reese at New York ...more

Anne Midgette is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Anne Midgette is an American journalist and classical music critic. Her father was the painter Willard Midgette. Midgette is a 1986 graduate of Yale University. After university, she lived for ...more

Joseph Marx is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Music Critics
Joseph Rupert Rudolf Marx was an Austrian composer, teacher and critic.