Anne Midgette Declines Honorary Doctorate from Cleveland Institute of Music

By Afton Wooten

Photo credit: Marvin Joseph

Music journalist Anne Midgette has declined an honorary doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

In 2018 Midgett gained widespread recognition for her Washington Post piece “#MeToo article on classical music.” Midgette was a classical music critic with the Post until 2019 and was the first woman at The New York Times to regularly write about classical music. She has co-authored many books and covered female composers as well as inclusivity, and accountability in the classical music field.

Midgette was the selected candidate for an honorary doctorate at CIM and was to give the 2023 commencement address. Following the news of the Title IX investigation on Carlos Kalmar (the school’s director of orchestral and conducting), she decided to decline the award.

The writer spoke out publicly saying on her website, “Over the last few weeks, a number of students and faculty have reached out to me, many of them anonymously, and spoken to me to tell me their versions of what’s going on. However, regardless of what the investigation determines, I am not convinced, based on my many conversations, that CIM has acted in the best interests of its students and faculty, and I am therefore uncomfortable appearing to support the leadership of the institution at this particular time. I believe that I was chosen for this recognition not least for my work in addressing #MeToo in the classical music world; and I am thus especially unwilling to have my name linked to a situation in which many women I spoke to feeling unheard, afraid and angry in precisely the ways that my coauthor Peggy McGlone and I tried so hard to address in our 2018 Washington Post story. I didn’t know a great deal about CIM when I was approached about this honor. In the past weeks, however, I have developed a very high opinion of CIM’s students and faculty. They deserve to be heard and supported. I hope and believe that they will take this gesture as a greater show of solidarity than my appearing in person could have been.”