Classical music critic Alan Rich passed away on Friday, reportedly from natural causes. Rich wrote for numerous publications, including the NY Times, Variety, LA Daily News, California magazine, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and Newsweek. He also wrote several books, most recently “So I’ve Heard: Notes of a Migratory Music Critic” in 2006. The Jewish Journal and the OC Register both have touching remembrances of the man.
I was working at the LA Weekly in 2008 when Rich was fired after writing for the paper for 16 years. None of us had ever seen such an impassioned response to the loss of a writer. We were swamped with angry phone calls and letters. And what could we say to the furious readers who threatened to never again pick up the paper? Getting rid of such a gifted critic was one of the greatest mistakes the LAW ever made. Most of us are replaceable. Alan Rich was not.