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John Rockwell

John Rockwell
John Rockwell - Pop Conference 2015 - 03 (17159078256).jpg
John Rockwell at the 2015 EMP Pop Conference
John Sargent Rockwell

(1940-09-16) September 16, 1940 (age 79)
ResidenceManhattan, New York
OccupationMusic critic, editor, director, arts administrator, dance critic
Years active1969–present
Spouse(s)Linda F. Mevorach
Parent(s)Alvin J. Rockwell (1908-1999)
Anna S. Hayward (1906-1983)

John Sargent Rockwell (born September 16, 1940) is an American music critic, editor, arts administrator, and dance critic.[1] He studied at Phillips Academy, Harvard, the University of Munich, and the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. in German cultural history.[1]


Rockwell began his journalistic career at the Oakland Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.[1] In 1972 he began writing at The New York Times, first as a classical music critic and reporter, then also as the paper's chief pop music critic, and, from 1992 to 1994, as the European cultural correspondent.[1] Between 1994 and 1998, he served as the first director of the Lincoln Center Festival. Rockwell returned to The New York Times to become the editor of the paper's Sunday Arts and Leisure section. In 2004, he was named the chief dance critic. He left the Times at the end of 2006 to pursue independent projects.

Rockwell currently lives in Manhattan with his wife, Linda Mevorach. Their daughter, Sasha, resides in California. He is the son of late San Francisco attorney Alvin J. Rockwell and Anna S. Hayward.[1][2][3][4]

In January 2008, Rockwell was a Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin. He is a Chevalier of the French Order of Arts & Letters.


Rockwell got his start in journalism at WHRB at Harvard and at KPFA in Berkeley.[5][6]

On WNYC Radio, Rockwell examined cultural topics and events in the news for his weekly Monday night segment, Rockwell Matters, from October 2007 until May 2008. (Archives can be heard online)

Rockwell is interviewed by Charles Amirkhanian on KPFA following the publication of his book “All American Music: Composition of the late 20th Century” 1983


  • All American Music, Knopf (1983) ISBN 0-394-51163-8.
  • Sinatra: An American Classic, Random House (1984) ISBN 0-394-53977-X.
  • The Idiots, BFI (2003) ISBN 0-85170-955-9.
  • Outsider: John Rockwell on the Arts, Limelight (2006) ISBN 0-87910-333-7
  • "The Times of the Sixties" (editor), Black Dog and Leventhal (2014) ISBN 1579129641


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