Today marks the 10th anniversary of South Florida Classical Review

By Lawrence A. Johnson


It was exactly ten years ago today, June 25, 2008, that South Florida Classical Review was launched.  I had just gotten the layoff ax from the Miami Herald and I was furious. 

Much of my anger was due, obviously, to having my job as classical music critic eliminated by the Herald in a cost-cutting move just two years after I had been lured away from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

But I was also upset that the zeroing out of my Herald job eliminated the last full-time classical critic position at a newspaper in Southeast Florida, from Palm Beach to Coral Gables. What would happen to regular coverage and reviews of all the local classical organizations—the New World Symphony, Seraphic Fire, Florida Grand Opera, Friends of Chamber Music and Sunday Afternoons of Music? 

Without having any grand scheme or design, I set up South Florida Classical Review as a Google blog literally overnight. This was the first post:

Little did I know that a decade later, SFCR would still be going strong. And largely unforeseen was the fact that SFCR would be the vanguard of a network of Classical Review sites around the country, encompassing Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington and Texas. (Click on “Elsewhere” at the top for links to the other sites.)

I’d just like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped make what was a late-night inspiration and inchoate (at best) vision into a continuing success both journalistically and as a business.

First, I want to thank David Fleshler and Lawrence Budmen. After I moved back to Chicago in 2009 to start up Chicago Classical Review, my two colleagues kept the writing and reviewing standard high for the many years after. Thanks also to SFCR’s newest contributor Inesa Gegprifti and all who have written for SFCR over the past decade, especially Dorothy Hindman and Dave Rosenbaum.

I want to thank all of our friends at South Florida’s music organizations whose encouragement and advertising support has allowed us to cover the music beat comprehensively over three counties for the past ten years: Julian Kreeger at Friends of Chamber Music of Miami; Patrick Quigley and Rhett Del Campo (and his predecessors) at Seraphic Fire; Craig Hall and Howard Herring at the New World Symphony; Doreen Marx and Byron Krulewitch of the (former) Sunday Afternoons of Music; Shelly Berg, Thomas Sleeper, and Alan Johnson at the UM Frost School of Music; Susan Danis at Florida Grand Opera; Raffaele Cardone at Miami Lyric Opera; and all our friends at the Kravis, Arsht and Broward centers.

I especially want to thank my friend, Jack Firestone. Though perhaps a bit dubious about my plan originally, no one has been a greater supporter of Classical Review nor more generous with business advice.

Watch for a site redesign in 2019. And thanks again to all who have helped make South Florida Classical Review a success for ten years.

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One Response to “Today marks the 10th anniversary of South Florida Classical Review”

  1. Posted Jun 27, 2018 at 10:03 am by Phoebe Satlin

    Thank you for 10years of great articles and reviews. Glad you are here to fill the void.

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Mon Jun 25, 2018
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