Author and music critic Alex Ross, who lives in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood, has been married to actor/director Jonathan Lisecki since 2005. While a student at Harvard, Ross (born 1968) was a DJ for the underground rock department of the university’s radio station WHRB. From 1992-96 he was a classical music critic for the New York Times.
In 2007 he published a critically acclaimed book on 20th-century classical music, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, the culmination of 10 years’ worth of research, and the following year he was named a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellow (popularly known as a “genius” grant). The MacArthur Foundation cited Mr. Ross for "offering both highly specialized and casual readers new ways of thinking about the music of the past and its place in our future."
Presently he is a classical music critic for The New Yorker magazine.
Photo below: Ross at home in Chelsea, NYC.
He characterizes his writing as somewhere between “pure, objective ‘did the soprano sing slightly flat?’ kind of criticism, and something more like music appreciation or writing with a slightly educational aspect to it. The whole point,” he explained, is “not to be too in-your-face or condescending.”
Ross started writing freelance reviews for Fanfare, a classical music magazine, which paid him $2 for each review. He was subsequently published in The New Republic magazine and then hired by the New York Times. His first articles for The New Yorker were annual pieces about rock musicians, until the magazine hired him in 1996 as classical music critic. He writes scathingly against the elitism of classical music audiences and performances.
Check out his excellent blog on music: