ROGER DETTMER has been writing
about music since 1946‹a review of Carmen excerpts,
on RCA 78s, for a "Cincinnati Friends of Opera" newsletter.
In 1948, prose began to pay ‹a program annotation for the Cincinnati
Symphony and hasn't altogether stopped since. His keyboard time
was spent annotating season programs by the Long Beach (CA) Symphony
after the New York Chamber Symphony's demise, along with CD liners
and web-engine program essays and
performer profiles. What goes around has seemed to come around. During
the decades between program-note assignments, a three-year stint as
music stringer for the sadly bygone New York Herald-Tribune led to
a quarter-century as music, theater and recordings critic for the
Chicago American/Today (1953-74), then briefly as theater critic for
the Chicago Tribune (1974-6), before an enough-is-enough exit from
daily journalism. A six-year tour as staff reviewer for Fanfare magazine
(1980-6) helped fill the interval until he began to annotate the Seattle
Symphony's Masterpiece programs in 1988 until 2000, and for six years
was a part-time annotator for the Chicago Symphony. As a freelance
writer throughout his career, RD contributed to preweb publication
sites as far-flung as New York, London, Honolulu, Helsinki and San
Francisco. He reviewed recordings for High Fidelity, Japan's Recordo
Geijutsu, Stereo Review, and Chicago Life magazines.
Legendary Hearstman Lee Ettelson taught him professional journalism. VittorioGiannini
taught him theory and composition (suggesting, however, that he not
become a composer). Fritz Reiner and Janos Starker taught him professional performance standards. Eugene Ormandy unofficially adopted him. Georg Solti
and Seiji Ozawa were "protégés," in the sense that
RD's hard-nosed lobbying helped them to become directors of, respectively, the Chicago Symphony
the Ravinia Festival.
Hemi-demi-semi-retired, Dettmer lives, listens,
and word-processes in Maryland on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
Copyright © 2005 Classical CD Review