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List of Famous Music Critics

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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. 
  • (Achille) Claude Debussy (French: [aʃil klod dəbysi]; 22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected...  more

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    #13 of 27 Musicians Who Would Make the Best Artists#2 of 50 The Best French Composers of All Time, Ranked

  • Robert Schumann (German: [ˈʃuːman]; 8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer, pianist, and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic...  more

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    #212 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#20 of 368 The Best Classical Composers

  • Richard Wagner is a film score composer....  more

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    #225 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#181 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

  • Patrick Martin Stumph (born April 27, 1984), known professionally as Patrick Vaughn Stump, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor and film composer. He is the lead...  more

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    #225 of 488 The Best Rock Vocalists#401 of 439 Famous Men You'd Want To Have A Beer With

  • Louis-Hector Berlioz (, French: [ɛktɔʁ bɛʁljoz]; 11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in...  more
  • César Antonovich Cui (Russian: Цезарь Антонович Кюи, Tsesar Antonovich Kyui; French: Cesarius Benjaminus Cui; 18 January [O.S. 6 January] 1835 – 13 March 1918) was a Russian composer and music...  more
  • Robert Thomas Christgau (; born April 18, 1942) is an American essayist and music journalist. One of the earliest professional rock critics, he spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior...  more
  • Paul Hindemith (; 16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a prolific German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor. In the 1920s, he became a major advocate of the Neue Sachlichkeit...  more
  • David Hajdu (; born 1955) is an American columnist, author and professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was the music critic for The New Republic for 12 years and is music...  more
  • Michael Kennedy

    George Michael Sinclair Kennedy CBE (19 February 1926 – 31 December 2014) was an English biographer, journalist and writer on classical music. Kennedy was born in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, and...  more
  • Hyman Taubman

    Hyman Howard Taubman was an American music critic, theater critic, and author....  more
  • Leslie Conway "Lester" Bangs (December 14, 1948 – April 30, 1982) was an American music journalist, critic, author, and musician. He wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone magazines, and was known for his...  more
  • Paul Abraham Dukas (French: [dykas]; 1 October 1865 – 17 May 1935) was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he...  more
  • Gustav Kobbé (4 March 1857 - 27 July 1918) was an American music critic and author, best known for his guide to the operas, The Complete Opera Book, first published (posthumously) in the United...  more
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (commonly abbreviated as E. T. A. Hoffmann; born Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann; 24 January 1776 – 25 June 1822) was a German Romantic author of fantasy and Gothic...  more
  • Roger Huntington Sessions (December 28, 1896 – March 16, 1985) was an American composer, teacher, and writer on music....  more
  • Theodor W. Adorno (; German: [ʔaˈdɔɐ̯no]; born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund; September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German philosopher, sociologist, psychologist and composer known for his critical...  more

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    #254 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time#1385 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • Nicolas Slonimsky (April 27 [O.S. April 15] 1894 – December 25, 1995), born Nikolai Leonidovich Slonimskiy (Russian: Никола́й Леони́дович Сло́нимский), was a Russian-born American conductor, author,...  more
  • Georges Auric (French: [ɔʁik]; 15 February 1899 – 23 July 1983) was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault. He was considered one of Les Six, a group of artists informally associated with Jean...  more
  • Nelson George (born September 1, 1957) is an American author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker. He has been nominated twice for the National Book Critics Circle Award....  more
  • Vasily Petrovich Botkin was a Russian essayist, literary, art and music critic, translator and publicist....  more
  • 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 BBC...  more
  • Herbert Eimert (8 April 1897 – 15 December 1972) was a German music theorist, musicologist, journalist, music critic, editor, radio producer, and composer....  more
  • Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor (21 February 1844 – 12 March 1937) was a French organist, composer and teacher, most notable for his ten organ symphonies....  more