Terry Teachout is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of “Sightings,” a biweekly column for the Friday Journal about the arts in America. He also writes about the arts for National Review and other magazines, as well as on his blog, “About Last Night.” His first play, Satchmo at the Waldorf, was premiered in 2011 in Orlando, Florida, and has since been produced off Broadway and regionally in Lenox, Mass., New Haven, Conn., and Philadelphia. His most recent book is Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington.
Mr. Teachout’s previous books include Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine, A Terry Teachout Reader, and The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken. He has also written the libretti for three operas by Paul Moravec, The Letter, Danse Russe, and The King’s Man, and is the editor of Beyond the Boom: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics and Ghosts on the Roof: Selected Journalism of Whittaker Chambers, 1931-1959. He was a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Jazz and Robert Gottlieb’s Reading Dance and has written track notes for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology.
Mr. Teachout served on the National Council on the Arts from 2004 to 2010. In 2012 he was a MacDowell Colony Fellow and received a Guggenheim Fellowship to support the completion of Duke. He has also been a scholar in residence at Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute, where he worked on Duke, Pops, and Satchmo at the Waldorf.
A graduate of William Jewell College, Mr. Teachout played jazz bass professionally in Kansas City from 1975 to 1983, also working as a music critic for the Kansas City Star. Since then he has been an editor of Harper’s, an editorial writer for the New York Daily News, the News’ classical music and dance critic, and the classical music and dance critic of Time magazine. He lives with his wife Hilary in New York City and Connecticut.