Tim Page (music critic)

Tim Page (born October 11, 1954 in San Diego, California, is a writer, editor, producer and professor. He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic for the "Washington Post" and also played an essential role in the revival of American author Dawn Powell.

Page grew up in Storrs, Connecticut, where his father Ellis B. Page was a professor of education at the University of Connecticut. In 1967, he was the subject of a short documentary, "A Day With Timmy Page," that chronicled his early interest in filmmaking and was widely shown. During this time, he studied piano and composition, and founded a rock band, "Dover Beach." He attended E.O.Smith High School, also in Storrs.

He moved to New York in 1975, attended the Mannes College The New School for Music for one year, then transferred and graduated from Columbia University in 1979. By the time of his graduation, Page was already writing for the arts magazine Soho News and other publications and presenting contemporary music on the Columbia radio station, WKCR. In 1981, he began an 11-year association with WNYC-FM, where he presented an afternoon program that broadcast interviews with hundreds of composers and musicians, including Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Philip Glass and Steve Reich. An interview with Glenn Gould, comparing the pianist's two versions of Bach's "Goldberg Variations", was released as part of a three-CD set entitled "A State of Wonder" in 2002 that became a surprise best-seller.

In 1982, Page joined "The New York Times", where he was a music writer and culture reporter until 1987. He became chief music critic of Newsday in 1987 and then chief classical music critic of The Washington Post in 1995. In 1997, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for what the Pulitzer board called his "lucid and illuminating" music criticism. He has also written widely on film and literature for the Post and elsewhere.

Page became interested in the life and work of American author Dawn Powell in 1991 and set to work interviewing her surviving friends and family. With the help of Powell's cousin John F. Sherman, he launched a challenge to the author's executrix, which led directly to the discovery of Powell's papers and the subsequent reissue of most of her books. To date, Page has edited Powell's diaries, letters, plays and short-stories, as well as written introductions to a half dozen of her novels. His biography "Dawn Powell" was published in 1998 and he edited and annotated the Library of America's two-volume collection of Powell's work in 2001.

In 1993, Page conceived and then served as the first executive producer for BMG Catalyst, a short-lived record label devoted to new and unusual music. Projects included "Spiked", an album of music by Spike Jones with liner notes by Thomas Pynchon; "Memento Bittersweet", an album of music by Chris DeBlasio, Kevin Oldham, Lee Gannon and other HIV-positive composers; "Night of the Mayas", the first CD devoted entirely to orchestral works by Silvestre Revueltas, Mexico's leading composer; two solo recital discs by violinist Maria Bachmann and several others.

In 2006, Page was chosen as one of the 25 most influential people in the world of opera by the magazine Opera News, not only for his writings but for his early championship of critics such as Anthony Tommasini, Justin Davidson and Philip Kennicott. He has also helped launch revivals of the writings of Sigrid Undset and Robert Green Ingersoll and he wrote one of the first mainstream media appreciations of the late singer-songwriter Judee Sill, whose two records from the early 1970s have been reissued and whom Page considers "an artist of extraordinary gifts."

Page has also produced concerts at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to New York's once-infamous Mudd Club. From 1999 to 2001, he was the artistic advisor and creative chair for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, he left the Post and joined the faculty of the University of Southern California. He currently lives in Charles Village, Baltimore and Hollywood, California.

In November 2007, Page caused a controversy for sending an angry email about former Washington, DC mayor and convicted drug felon Marion Barry. In response to receiving unsolicited emails from Barry's Office and being cursed at on the phone by a Barry staffer, Page wrote an intemperate email the the Berry campaign publicized and deemed offensive. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/12/AR2007111201906.html] Barry subsequently demanded that Page be fired from the Washington Post, and went so far as to arrange a small protest outside the building. Tim Page was temporarily suspended from his duties [http://www.ca-forum.org/Content/ViewInternalDocument.cfm?ContentID=5629] , but returned to write for the Washington Post before taking his already scheduled sabbatical. A few month later, along with more than 100 other reporters, he accepted the newspapers' offer to buy him out of his contract.

Asperger syndrome

In August 2007 Page revealed in "The New Yorker" that he had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, "in the course of a protracted effort to identify — and, if possible, alleviate — my lifelong unease". [ [http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/20/070820fa_fact_page "Parallel Play, A lifetime of restless isolation explained"] by Tim Page, "The New Yorker," August 20, 2007.]

An Interview with Pulitzer-Winner Tim Page on Living with Asperger's (2007) [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12750745]

Hour long radio interview with Doug Fabrizio, KUER-FM, on Asperger's Syndrome. [http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuer/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1134602]

Tim Page as a 12-year old filmmaker in "A Day With Timmy Page." [http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=A3lmuPd8tGs]

Books (selected list)

* The Glenn Gould Reader. (Alfred A. Knopf, 1984). Editor.
* Selected Letters of Virgil Thomson , with Vanessa Weeks Page. (Summit Books, 1988). Editor.
* William Kapell: An Illustrated Life History of the American Pianist (International Piano Archives at Maryland, 1992). Author.
* Music From The Road: Views and Reviews 1978 - 1992, anthology of previously published work. (Oxford University Press, 1992).
* Dawn Powell At Her Best (Steerforth Press, 1994). Editor.
* The Diaries of Dawn Powell: 1931-1965 (Steerforth Press, 1995). Discovered, edited and annotated Powell's diaries.
* Dawn Powell: A Biography (Henry Holt, 1998). Author.
* Selected Letters of Dawn Powell (Henry Holt, 1999). Editor.
* Dawn Powell: Novels 1930-1942 and Dawn Powell: Novels 1944-1962. (Library of America, 2001). Editor.
* The Unknown Sigrid Undset (Steerforth, 2001). Editor.
* Glenn Gould: A Life In Pictures (Random House, 2002). Author.
* Tim Page on Music (Amadeus Press, 2002). Collection of previously published work.
* “What’s God Got To Do With It?”: Robert Ingersoll on Free Thought, Honest Talk and the Separation of Church and State (Steerforth Press, 2005). Editor.

References


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