Michael Kennedy, one-time Gramophone contributor and for many years music critic of the Daily Telegraph has died; he was 88. Born in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Kennedy joined the Telegraph in 1941 at the age of 15 and became its Music Critic in 1948, a role he finally stepped down from in 2005 having also spent a quarter century (1960-86) as the paper’s Northern Editor. From 1989 to 2005 he was Chief Music Critic of the Sunday Telegraph.
An authority on the music of Sir Edward Elgar, Richard Strauss and Ralph Vaughan Williams, Kennedy wrote extensively on them including a number of fine biographies. Other subjects that formed part of his substantial output included Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir William Walton and Charles Hallé as well as studies of the Buxton Festival and the Hallé Orchestra. He wrote numerous sleeve- and programme-notes and record reviews. He was also a regular voice on BBC Radio 3.
He was awarded an OBE in 1981 and a CBE in 1987, given an honorary doctorate by Manchester University in 2003 and was made an honorary member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2005.