During his renewable, one-year tenure, Tim Diovanni will work closely with longtime classical-music writer Scott Cantrell in covering the classical music scene in North Texas
Back in 2017, The Dallas Morning News entered into a partnership with the San Francisco-based Rubin Institute for Music Criticism to help sustain its ongoing coverage of classical music. The institute launched the program in 2016 with its pilot partner, The Boston Globe.
The program has worked so well, The News is now expanding its commitment by hiring as a full-time fellow, on a renewable one-year basis, Tim Diovanni, who recently completed a summer internship with The News before returning to Dublin, Ireland, to complete a graduate degree.
“We continue to be impressed not only by The Dallas Morning News’ commitment, persistence and creativity in delivering superior classical music coverage to the Dallas-Fort Worth community, but also in identifying and opening doors to emerging young writers like Tim,” said Jessica Downs, program director for the Rubin Institute.ADVERTISING
“We look forward to following Tim’s work in the months to come, and we are confident that he will flourish under the mentorship of the DMN’s esteemed critic Scott Cantrell. We are proud to be in partnership with such a topnotch news organization and thrilled to support this new fellowship.”
Keith Campbell, managing editor of The News, said in a statement: “We are thrilled to partner with the Rubin Institute to bring Tim back to our newsroom for a full year. His work last summer was excellent. We know readers of our classical music coverage will benefit from his knowledge and eye for detail.”
Downs says the institute was created in 2012 “to bring attention to the field of music journalism, because of the dwindling number of critics throughout the United States. … It was also to inspire and to help mentor talented young student writers who might have an interest in music journalism.”
The institute began seven years ago at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, but since 2014 has operated within the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In the fall of 2016, San Francisco Bay Area philanthropist Gordon Getty linked up with David H. Stull, president of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Stephen Rubin, benefactor of the Rubin Institute and president of Henry Holt & Co., a New York-based publishing firm. Together they set up a partnership through which the newspaper program would be funded through the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.
In addition to The News and The Boston Globe, the institute has established partnerships with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Houston Chronicle and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. “We also have an arrangement with The Seattle Times,” Downs says. The institute has partnerships with the Toronto Star and San Francisco Classical Voice. Those are several among many, sprinkled throughout North America.
During his full-time, one-year position, slated to begin on March 31, Diovanni will work closely with The News’ arts and entertainment editor, Christopher Wynn, and longtime contributing classical-music writer Cantrell to cover the increasingly dynamic classical music scene in North Texas.ADVERTISING
Diovanni launched his experience at The News last summer by reporting on the Cliburn Junior competition. His keen eye for detail spotted a Cliburn employee walking onstage to wipe sweat off the piano keys. This easy-to-miss moment underscored the high stakes of the competition and became the opening scene for Diovanni’s inaugural story.
Diovanni graduated cum laude from Columbia University and is completing his master’s at the Technological University Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin, Ireland. He’s also a musician, having served as bass clarinetist and clarinetist in the Columbia University Orchestra. And in addition to that, he completed a minor in German Literature and Cultural History at Columbia.
Diovanni’s journalism pedigree includes having served as a Rubin Institute for Music Criticism Fellow in October 2018, and in 2017, he worked with The Community Tribune, which “investigated construction safety in New York City over 18 months in a collaborative team.”
He hopes to “make my living as a music journalist because of my work for The News. Hearing and sharing stories is, for me, a great reward and thrill. What makes this work even more appealing is I get to discuss the music I know and love the most, having lived and breathed classical music as a clarinetist and musicology student for years.”
During his experience last summer, Diovanni worked with features intern Irena Fischer-Hwang on a classical-music podcast titled How to Listen, yet to be released, which he envisions as an attempt to “change how listeners hear their world.” He also likes the idea of reaching a younger and more diverse audience than the one commonly associated with classical music.
Diovanni could not arrive at a better time. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has been transitioning to its new music director, Fabio Luisi.
“Having experienced Dallas last summer, I’m looking forward to coming back,” Diovanni said. “I can’t wait to get there.”