Listeners to NPR and readers of the Boston Phoenix have long enjoyed and profited from Lloyd Schwartz’s music criticism, which won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. I personally am in his debt for recommendations he has made over the years. (On Lloyd's recommendation I bought, for example, a CD called Broadway Showstoppers, in which under John McGlinn’s direction opera singers give their full-bodied renditions of "Tea for Two," "Swanee," "Who," "Dancing in the Dark," "Come to the Moon," "All The Things You Are," and other terrific songs.) Schwartz is also a distinguished poet, author of several acclaimed books of poetry, editor of a significant volume about Elizabeth Bishop. His work has appeared in many outstanding magazines and been anthologized in The Best American Poetry.
Because of things he has written as a guest blogger here, Lloyd has now been attacked on the "Exhibitionist," the Boston Globe blog. The focus of the attack is that Schwartz’s poems have been set to music by six young composers who are composition fellows at the Tanglewood Music Center this summer. Schwartz’s sin is that he has accepted an invitation to visit the center to hear the pieces performed and to work with the young composers. This, says his accuser, may compromise Schwartz’s objectivity as a critic of any Boston Symphony Orchestra event now or in the future.
The charge is preposterous. The custom of putting up a distinguished visitor, and paying that person a modest honorarium to give a talk or to work with students, is routine and unobjectionable. Character assassination is an unfortunate element of the blogosphere, and any attempt to impugn the integrity of Lloyd Schwartz is despicable. Is it possible that the Globe blogger has it in for a writer for a rival newspaper, the smaller, fiercely independent Phoenix?