Crrritic!

As basically every other music blog on the planet has already reported, the New Statesman (in association with the RAM) has announced their Young Music Critic competition.

The introductory page has a short statement from each of the members of jury outlining what they’re looking for.

I really like this (particularly the final sentence), from Alex Ross, of The Nest is Roy’s fame:

Perhaps the greatest challenge is to remain passionately engaged over the long term — not to become jaded, politely accepting, cynical, or, worst of all, nostalgic. To the end, critics must remain open to the possibility of being totally undone by what they hear.

Ross is right to identify this as a challenge. How often are we subjected to criticism, often in major publications, that makes a mockery of such ideals? Maybe no single critic – no matter their field – really can live up to these for the span of a career (although there are some, like the inimitable Robert Hughes, who give them a run for their money). But if a competition such as this can help instil some wonder into the music criticism of tomorrow, then bring it on.

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