In 1992, when I moved to New York and began to write about classical music, every major city newspaper had at least one writer covering the field, sometimes several writers. I would see knots of critics at performances, gaggles of them at big premières. In the intervening years, the ranks of the profession have steadily dwindled, to the point where fewer than ten American papers have full-time classical critics on staff.
You could argue that classical critics are an endangered species because the art form has lost its place in mainstream culture.
And classical music is hardly alone in witnessing a dying-off of critics. Colleagues in other disciplines–dance, theatre, visual arts, books, even movies and pop music–report similar struggles.
Alex Ross discusses how the value of critics has changed.