Alex Ross has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996. He writes about classical music and has also contributed essays on literature, film, intellectual history, pop music, and gay life. His first book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, won a National Book Critics Circle award and the Guardian First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His second book is the essay collection Listen to This. He is now at work on a third book, called Wagnerism, describing the composer’s vast cultural impact. In 2008, Ross was named a MacArthur Fellow; he has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and honorary doctorates from the New England Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Curtis Institute.