Allan Kozinn has been reassigned from his longtime position as a music critic for the New York Times to general-assignment culture reporter.
Kozinn acknowledged the move, first reported by Norman Lebrecht on his Slipped Disc blog, on his Facebook page on Monday:
"Well, since word about this seems to be out, I might as well repost it as well. I think officially, all I can say is that it's been more than a privilege to write about music and musicians for the Times for the last 35 years.
"I've heard, seen and covered a few lifetimes worth of great and interesting music although there's a great deal more I wanted to do — I've really enjoyed watching the new music world really catch fire in recent years — I'll obviously continue to keep tabs on it through Steve Smith's work, not to mention directly, where possible while I'm doing whatever it is I'll be doing instead."
A spokeswoman for the Times said the paper will "continue to cover classical music" but would not comment on a possible replacement for Kozinn.
She said the change was a "reassignment" and not a "demotion."
Both Kozinn and the Times culture editor Jonathan Landman did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment.
Composer Robert Schwimmer launched a petition Monday on Change.org to reinstate Kozinn as critic, drawing such supporters as New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Washington Post music critic Tim Page and composer Laura Schwendinger. The petition currently has more than 500 supporters.
The petition reads:
Reinstate Allan Kozinn as New York Times music critic
Allan Kozinn is one of the best all-around music critics today and a most crucial part of what has made the New York Times music articles and reviews such a incredible resource–The New York times without Allan Kozinn as music critic is unthinkable.
Kozinn began writing for the Times as a stringer in 1977 after graduating from Syracuse Univeristy. Prior to joining the staff in 1991, he served as a contributing editor for classical-music magazines High Fidelity, Opus and Keynote. He was the music critic for the New York Observer.
Since 2004, he has been an instructor of recorded music at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where he has taught courses in music criticism, Baroque Music Literature and the Beatles.
Among his books are "Guitar: The History, the Music, the Players," "The Beatles" and "Classical Music: A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings."