Anthony Plog on Music

Conversations with performers, composers, and entrepreneurs

Become a Contributing Listener!

As a Contributing Listener of "Anthony Plog on Music" you'll have access to extra premium content and benefits including:
  • Extra Audio Content: Only available to Contributing Listeners.
  • Podcast Reflections: Tony's written recaps and thoughts on past interviews (including valuable tips and suggestions for students) going all the way back to his first interviews in 2020.
  • Ask Me Anything: Both as written messages and occasional member-only Zoom sessions.
  • The Show's Discord Server: Where conversations about past interviews, show suggestions, and questions happen. It's a great place to meet other listeners and chat about all things music!
  • Can I just donate instead of subscribing? Absolutely!
  • Cancel at anytime and easily resubscribe when you want all the extra content again.

Anne Midgette, Former Music Critic and Reviewer for the Washington Post & New York Times

Anthony Plog, host
Eddie Ludema, producer

Date posted: May 6, 2023

Anne Midgette was the music critic for the Washington Post for eleven years, and for seven years before that was a regular contributor to the New York Times. She is the author of two books on music, The King and I, about the relationship between Luciano Pavarotti and his manager, Herbert Breslin, and My Nine Lives, with the pianist Leon Fleisher. She is currently working on a historical novel about Nanette Streicher, the woman who built pianos for Beethoven. Oh, and she has also written some travel books! So who better to ask about what it is like to be a music critic and her life in the arts?

Part 1

We begin with my asking Anne Midgette about her (at least to me) unique view on the purpose of a music critic. We then talk about what a normal day might look like and about the pressure of writing music reviews with incredibly quick publishing deadlines. Ms. Midgette is well known for her articles having to do with the MeToo problem in classical music, which we discuss in depth toward the end of this episode.

Part 2

Part 2 of our discussion deals with the books "The King and I", and "My Nine Lives". We talk about what it was like to work with Herbert Breslin and Leon Fleisher, both towering but very different figures in the music business. This leads to a short discussion about interpretation, and we end with Anne talking about her current project, a book of historical fiction about the person who built pianos for Beethoven, Nanette Streicher.

Bonus Room

In the Bonus Room we discuss the idea of using social media to build a career in music, and from there we move on to the subject of the interpretation of Baroque music... authentic instruments and phrasing vs. modern instruments and phrasing. And we end with Anne's optimistic take on the future of classical music... "The music is just fine."

The podcast theme music, Four Sierra Scenes, written by Anthony Plog, is taken from Crystal Records S205, copyright ©1980 Crystal Records Inc., and is used by permission. Unauthorized duplication is not permitted.