Chicago Classical Review was created by Lawrence A. Johnson in May 2009 to provide a new source for comprehensive coverage of the city’s bustling classical music scene.

Editor/Lead Critic

Lawrence A. Johnson
Born in Chicago, Lawrence A. Johnson is the former classical music critic of the Miami Herald and, prior to that, classical music writer at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He was a freelance critic for the Chicago Tribune throughout the 1990s, covering classical music as well as rock and theater, and wrote regularly for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Opera News, Opera and The New Criterion. Johnson moved back to Chicago in 2009 to launch Chicago Classical Review. In addition to continuing to serve as lead critic of CCR, he is also founder and editor of Boston Classical Review, New York Classical Review and all the other Classical Review sites.

In 2014 Johnson launched the American Music Project, a nonprofit foundation committed to advocating for American classical music of the past through grants, performances, and selective commissioning of  new works from American composers.

Regular Contributors

Katherine Buzard
Katherine Buzard is a freelance writer, editor, and singer who moved to Chicago in the fall of 2021 from Champaign-Urbana. In addition to Chicago Classical Review, she writes for Opera Canada and has written program notes for the Grant Park Music Festival and the Schwartz Center at Emory University.

She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in music and earned a certificate in vocal performance. She received her master’s degree in vocal performance from the Royal College of Music in London. In addition to her freelance solo and choral work, she is a staff singer in the St. James Cathedral Choir.

Wynne Delacoma
Wynne Delacoma is the former classical music critic of the Chicago Sun-Times and an adjunct faculty member focusing on arts reporting at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and Integrated Marketing. She is a Chicago-based freelance critic, feature writer and lecturer. In addition to CCR, her regular media outlets include MusicalAmerica.com.

Landon Hegedus
Based in the Chicago area since 2013, Landon Hegedus is a writer, arts administrator, saxophonist, educator, and music copyist hailing from Austin, Texas. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where his concentrations included jazz performance, music composition, and English literature. In addition to his freelance activities, Landon holds administrative positions at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and UChicago Presents concert series.

John Y. Lawrence
A contributor to Chicago Classical Review since May 2014, John Y. Lawrence is a PhD candidate in music history and theory at the University of Chicago, and has taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has a master’s degree in musicology from King’s College London and was a music and English major at Yale University, where he specialized in musical theatre composition.

Graham Meyer
Graham Meyer has been covering arts, culture, and dining in Chicago for the past 15 years. He has written about classical music for Chicago magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications. He has previewed arts events in several newsletters and magazines, most recently in the column The Big Ticket for Crain’s. In the dining sphere, he has reviewed restaurants for Chicago magazine and Crain’s and for many years was one of the co-authors of Chicago magazine’s Dish newsletter, for which he won a City and Regional Magazine Award in 2014. Graham also sings as a baritone in the choir Vox Venti, plays the piano, composes, and plays competitive bridge with his teenage daughter.

Tim Sawyier
Tim Sawyier is a psychoanalyst in private practice and a faculty member of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute. He studied oboe at the Curtis Institute of Music and was twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, after which he earned two master’s degrees: one in history from University of Chicago, and another in clinical counseling from the Institute for Clinical Social Work. He has been a contributor to the Chicago Classical Review since July 2014.

John von Rhein
John von Rhein’s four decades as classical music critic of the Chicago Tribune make him one of the few classical music journalists to have held the same post at the same paper for that long anywhere in the nation, and, indeed, the world. He retired from the paper in July 2018.

His tenure surpassed that of his two predecessors, Thomas Willis and Claudia Cassidy, combined, and managed to beat the 37-year record of Robert C. Marsh, who reviewed classical music for the Chicago Sun-Times before retiring in 1993.

Von Rhein holds bachelors degrees in English and music from the University of California at Los Angeles and California State University in Los Angeles. He is a former violinist. He received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from DePaul University in June 2011.

He has written for numerous publications including Opera, Opera News, the American Record Guide, Fanfare, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe. He continues writing on a freelance basis for Chicago Classical Review, Opera, American Record Guide and other publications.