To Listen Well

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ETA Hoffmann summarised the business of music criticism very neatly by saying it existed 'to lead people to listen well'. Hilary Finch, who has been a classical music critic on The Times for thirty years, considers the craft, purpose and future of her own profession at a time when the 'death of the critic' has been proclaimed.

The Times was the first newspaper to appoint a regular music critic, but with a combination of changes in the arts, in newspapers and in social media, she considers whether it might be the last.

Hilary talks with fellow critics Hugh Canning, Anna Picard and Paul Morley, the Radio 3 presenter and twitterer Tom Service, and people from other corners of the music industry - the soprano Elizabeth Watts, the chief executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and media relations expert Ginny Macbeth.

Producer: Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 3.

Hilary Finch considers the craft, purpose and future of newspaper music critics.

ETA Hoffmann summarised the business of music criticism very neatly by saying it existed 'to lead people to listen well'.

Hilary Finch, who has been a classical music critic on The Times for thirty years, considers the craft, purpose and future of her own profession at a time when the 'death of the critic' has been proclaimed.