Samuel Lipman, who served as the publisher of The New Criterion from its inception in September 1982 until his death on December 17, 1994, was one of the most remarkable figures of his generation in America. He was at once an artist and an intellectual—a gifted pianist, a brilliant writer, an incisive critic, an inspiring teacher, an accomplished administrator, and, in his later years, a fiercely articulate participant in the controversies that have shaped the critical debate about the future of high culture in our tragically divided society. In each of these roles, moreover, he proved to be a man of resolute character, firm conviction, and unwavering loyalty to the high ideals that governed his life and his work.

An earlier generation knew him as a pianist. He had made his recital debut as a child prodigy in San Francisco in 1943, his New York debut at Town Hall in 1955. As he wrote in these pages in 1988: “I have...


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