Robert Baxter (critic)

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Robert Baxter (October 15, 1940 – August 25, 2010) was an American performing-arts critic and academic who wrote theatre, opera, and classical music criticism for the Courier-Post for close to 30 years. The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that his "writing helped advance the South Jersey arts scene",[1] and Opera News wrote that Baxter was "highly discerning and scrupulously honest, and had a well-deserved reputation as a tough but fair critic whose coverage of theater, opera and classical music in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey was highly valued and respected by his readers and by his colleagues."[2]

Life and career[edit]

Born and raised in Merced, California, Baxter was educated at Stanford University where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a PhD in Classics. After finishing his graduate work, he joined the faculty of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts where he taught Classics for roughly a decade.[1]

In 1979 Baxter left his post at Smith College to become performing arts critic for the Courier-Post. He remained in that role until his retirement in 2008. He then joined the faculty at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he was a teacher of opera history. He remained in that job until his death in 2010 at the age of 69 in Paterson, New Jersey. The cause was pancreatic cancer.[1]