John Kraglund | The Canadian Encyclopedia


John Kraglund

(Börge) John Kraglund, music critic (born 27 April 1922 in Hjørring, Denmark; died 24 January 2013 in Selby, ON). Naturalized Canadian 1949; BA (Toronto) 1948.

Kraglund's parents emigrated to Canada in 1929, settling on a farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario. After university, he studied theory and criticism with Leo Smith and in 1952 succeeded Smith as music critic for the Toronto Globe and Mail. His drily sardonic, usually brief reviews, pragmatic in the face of a midnight deadline, became a hallmark of Toronto scepticism, and it has been said that a measured enthusiasm from Kraglund was the equivalent of a panegyric from a colleague. Among Toronto critics of the second half of the century Kraglund was the most attentive to local and provincial endeavours, often sending a deputy to visiting attractions in order to review himself recitals by local musicians, programs of new works by young composers, concert ventures by Toronto organizations, and musical events at the Stratford, Guelph and Shaw (Niagara-on-the-Lake) festivals. In addition to his daily reviews, he wrote for the Canadian Music Journal, Opera Canada, Musicanada, the Canada Music Book, International Musician, Musical America, Musical Courier, Mayfair and other publications. Kraglund retired from the Globe and Mail in April 1987, but continued to contribute book and record reviews and occasional articles to publications such as Music Magazine and Opera Canada. His extensive collection of programs, gleaned from 35 years of concerts, was deposited at the National Library of Canada.