Daughter of a New York music critic, Elizabeth Kahn led a charmed life growing up with any and all concerts free for the asking. She majored in voice and piano at Brandeis University and continued at Brandeis as a graduate student in musicology. She received her PhD from Harvard in Comparative Literature, creating a special niche in the relationship between music and poetry. Her dissertation on the legends of Orpheus in the Middle Ages and Renaissance was published in 1987. She is also an amateur oboist.
Elizabeth sees the critic's role as largely educational rather than judgmental. She believes that by explaining something about a program, both its content and performance, she can help readers sharpen their appreciation of music their own critical faculties. As in other areas, Elizabeth is a true musical liberal, believing that there is no such thing as a definitive performance. But that doesn't mean that performers can get away with just anything.
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