Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Alan Rich Papers
Date (inclusive): 1923-2010, bulk 1960-2010
Collection number: 1975
12.2 linear ft.
(10 document boxes, 5 record cartons, 7 flat boxes, 2 index card boxes)
Abstract: Alan Rich was an American music critic, based in New York and Los Angeles, who began his professional career in the 1950s
and continued writing until his death in 2010. The collection includes research files, correspondence and memorial tributes,
promotional scores and recordings sent to Rich from composers and music publications, an extensive collection of both drafts
and periodical clippings of his writings, and recordings from the "Music Room" salons he co-hosted in Los Angeles with philanthropist
Language: Finding aid is written in
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to UCLA by Alan Rich through the Alan Rich Trust, executed by trustee Raymond Richards and transferred
Processed by Andrea Moore and Mike D'Errico in 2012 in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance
from Jillian Cuellar.
The processing of this collection was generously supported by
[Identification of item], Alan Rich papers (Collection 1975). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research
Alan Rich was born in Boston on June 17, 1924. While attending Harvard in the 1940s, he began working as an assistant music
The Boston Herald. Upon graduating, he discarded his original plans to attend medical school and instead enrolled at the University of California,
Berkeley. Under the mentorship of the musicologist Joseph Kerman, he earned a master's degree in Music in 1952. After graduating,
he went to Europe on fellowship for a year, and then returned to Berkeley to become the music director of Pacifica Radio,
KPFA later sent Rich to New York to work at radio station WBAI; this move led to Rich becoming a music critic for
The New York Times in 1961. He moved to
The Herald Tribune in 1963, and later wrote for
New York magazine from 1968 to 1981. Toward the end of his tenure there he contributed to
New West magazine, a spin-off of
New York that was soon renamed
California. Rich moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and became music editor of
Newsweek. He also wrote for
The Los Angeles Herald Examiner and
LA Weekly. Rich used these national and local publications as a platform for a campaign to put Los Angeles' musical culture in the
spotlight. He became a crucial advocate for contemporary music as he continued to make the case for LA's significance as a
musical hub throughout his career. Rich's music column was cut from
LA Weekly in 2008 as a cost-cutting measure after a sixteen year run. This led Rich to begin a blog, "So I've Heard," named after the
title of a 2006 compilation of his reviews,
So I've Heard: Notes of a Migratory Music Critic. He also continued to contribute reviews to
Variety, and others.
Rich was the author of several books, among them
Careers and Opportunities in Music (1964),
The Lincoln Center Story (1984),
American Pioneers: Ives to Cage and Beyond (1995), and the "Play-by-Play" series of books and CDs, with volumes devoted to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky (1995).
He passed away in April 2010, at the age of 85.
Scope and Content
The collection includes research files, correspondence and memorial tributes, promotional scores and recordings sent to Rich
from composers and music publications, an extensive collection of both drafts and periodical clippings of his writings, and
recordings from the "Music Room" salons he co-hosted in Los Angeles with philanthropist Betty Freeman.
Organization and Arrangement
Arranged in the following series:
- Writings, 1950-2010
- Subject, 1936-2004
- Personal, 1932-2010
- Books, 1923-2008
- Scores, 1961-2009
- Media, 1950-2009
All series are arranged alphabetically.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Rich, Alan --Archives.
Music critics --United States --Archival resources.
The bulk of Alan Rich’s books from his personal library were transferred to the Music Library for individual cataloging. They
are available via the UCLA Library Catalog.
Related materials providing additional information on philanthropist Betty Freeman, with whom Rich worked closely, can be
found in the
Betty Freeman Papers (MSS 227)
at Mandeville Special Collections Library, UC San Diego.