Philip Kennicott is the chief Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post. Kennicott won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. He had twice been a Pulitzer Prize finalist before: in 2012, he was a runner-up for the criticism prize, and in 2000, he was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a series on gun control in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In 2015, he was a National Magazine Award  finalist in the Essays and Criticism category for an essay he contributed to Virginia Quarterly Review; that piece, "Smuggler,"  was also selected for the 2015 volume Best American Essays. In 2006, he was an Emmy Award nominee for a Web-based video journal about democracy and oil money in Azerbaijan.
Kennicott was raised in Schenectady, New York, where he studied piano with composer and pianist Joseph Fennimore. In 1983, he attended Deep Springs College, before transferring to Yale in 1986. Kennicott graduated summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1988.
Kennicott served as an editor of several classical music publications in New York City from 1988–95, including Senior Editor of Musical America and Editor of Chamber Music Magazine. He became classical music critic of the Detroit News in 1995, and later Chief Classical Music Critic of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In 1999, he joined the Washington Post as Chief Classical Music Critic, before becoming Culture Critic in 2001, and Art and Architecture Critic in 2011. Kennicott is also a former contributing editor at The New Republic, where he wrote articles on classical music, and has served as a reviewer and columnist for Gramophone.
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