Long-time New York Times classical music critic Bernard Holland is retiring from the paper, effective May 23. He accepted a buyout as part of the newspaper's desire to reduce its newsroom size. Many don't realize this, but Holland worked at the Post-Gazette in 1979 and 1980. He came to the Times in 1981.
According to Susan Elliott of MusicalAmerica.com, Holland "'drifted' into music writing after teaching piano privately. Early training included studies at the Vienna Academy of Music and the Paris Conservatory." He plans on retiring to Canada, with no immediate plans on what's next.
Holland's departure still leaves two full-time classical music critics at the Times -- Anthony Tommasini and Allan Kozinn -- with editor James Oestreich, free-lancers Steve Smith and Vivien Schweitzer and plenty of other freelance submissions on Sunday adding to its coverage.
Elliott reports that Oestreich said, "Since the goal of the buyouts is to decrease the size of the newsroom, it's not an automatic assumption that we can hire another staff critic."
Still, the paper's classical desk has an enviable staff size. But -- whatever you personally thought of Holland's writings -- the Times certainly loses a presence with his departure.