It has been announced that Donald Rosenberg, writer for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, will no longer be permitted to review concerts of the Cleveland Orchestra. Rosenberg will continue his other work for the newspaper, writing about other music and dance events in the Cleveland area, but he will no longer cover the Cleveland Orchestra beat.
This move is six years overdue, as Rosenberg had long ago lost all objectivity in his coverage of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Music Director, Franz Welser-Most, whom for some reason Rosenberg has always detested on a deeply personal level.
Rosenberg’s personal grudge against Welser-Most has been one of the two or three major stories in the American music world for the last half-decade, constantly talked about everywhere, even (and especially) in Europe, although no American publication has been willing to write about this matter on a single occasion.
I have read Rosenberg every week for years, with amazement, as he hacks away at the world’s finest orchestra and the finest conductor now working regularly in the U.S.
I am pleased that the Plain Dealer has at last addressed this situation, even if belatedly.
Last week, I read the reviews in the European press of the Cleveland Orchestra’s appearances at this year’s Salzburg Festival. Once again, I could not help but notice that only European critics seem to appreciate this miraculous ensemble.
When the most knowledgeable (and jaded) European music critics proclaim the Cleveland Orchestra vastly superior to the most exalted European ensembles, one cannot help but compare the depth and breadth of their knowledge with the idiocy that passes for music criticism in American newspapers and magazines.
My father, one of the world’s most brilliant men, and who is never wrong about anything, remarked to me three days ago that something significant had happened in recent days. He told me, on Wednesday night, that the most recent round of European reviews for the Cleveland Orchestra made Rosenberg’s position at the Plain Dealer “no longer tenable”. My father said that Rosenberg would be gone “by Christmas”.
Christmas has come early this year.