Bernheimer, Martin, German-born American music critic; b. Munich, Sept. 28, 1936. He was taken to the U.S. as a child in 1940 and became a naturalized citizen in 1946. He studied at Brown Univ. (Mus.B., 1958); after attending the Munich Hochschule für Musik (1958–59), he studied musicology with Reese at N.Y. Univ. (M.A., 1961), where he also taught (1959–62). He was contributing critic of the N.Y. Herald-Tribune (1959–62), contributing ed. of the Musical Courier (1961–64), temporary music critic of the N.Y. Post (1961–65), Kolodin’s assistant at the Saturday Review (1962–65), and music ed. and chief music critic of the Los Angeles Times (from 1965). As a critic, Bernheimer possesses a natural facility and not infrequently a beguiling felicity of literary style; he espouses noble musical causes with crusading fervor, but he can also be aggressively opinionated and ruthlessly devastating to composers, performers, or administrators whom he dislikes; as a polemicist, he is a rara avis among contemporary critics, who seldom rise to the pitch of moral or musical indignation; he also possesses a surprising knowledge of music in all its ramifications, which usually protects him from perilous pratfalls. In 1974 and 1978 he won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, and in 1982 the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire