Samuel Lipman was born in California in 1934. He was educated at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Berkeley, and the juilliard School in New York. At Berkeley he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a teaching assistant in political science. As a musician, his teachers included Lev Shorr, Alexander Libermann, Darius Milhaud, Pierre Monteux, and Rosina Lhevinne. In 1975 he gave the New York premiere of the Elliott Carter Piano Concerto. Since 1977 he has been the music critic for Commentary, and since its founding has been the Publisher of The New Criterion. He is the author of Music After Modernism (1979) and The House of Music (1984), and he has received three ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for criticism. He is a member of the National Council on the Arts in Washington and the artistic director of the Waterloo Music Festival. He has lived in New York City since 1959.