Times Critic Bernheimer to Leave Post After 30 Years


After more than 30 years of writing music and dance criticism for The Times, Martin Bernheimer is leaving to pursue other projects.

Among his many distinctions, Bernheimer, 59, won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1981, and he is a regular lecturer and quiz panelist on the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. He has also taught criticism at USC, UCLA, Cal State Northridge and CalArts.

A graduate of Brown University and New York University, he came to the newspaper from the Saturday Review in 1965 at the age of 28. He has earned an international reputation for strong opinions in reviews that have combined wit and personality and have often provoked strong responses from readers, both pro and con.


“Martin Bernheimer has contributed greatly to the critical community and to the Los Angeles Times over the last three decades,” said Editor and Executive Vice President Shelby Coffey III. “He has been a strong and distinctive voice for high standards in classical music and dance. His excellent work is much appreciated, and we wish him well in his next chapter of his career.”

Bernheimer, whose tenure will end March 1, will continue to contribute to The Times periodically from East Coast and West Coast venues. He said Wednesday that his plans remain open.

“Covering music and dance for more than 30 years at The Times was invariably stimulating and provocative, sometimes trying, occasionally exhausting and often very rewarding. I am grateful for having been given this long-playing opportunity. But there is a time to stay and a time to leave. I think the time has come for me to explore other avenues and weigh other career options.”