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Vienna loses a prominent critic

Peter Vujica, the influential culture editor of Der Standard and a composer and novelist under the pseudonym Peter Daniel Wolfkind, died on Christmas of leukemia, aged 76. He held the reins at Standard for 13 years from 1989 and ran some of the liveliest arts pages anywhere in world journalism. Before that, he was director of the Styrian Autumn Festival, one of the standout new music venues.

Vujica, whom I dealt with occasionally on the phone, was a contrarian. No-one could predict what he wanted since he changed his mind from one day to the next. Infuriating as this could be, he was also stimulating and sometimes downright funny. I enjoyed working with Der Standard and think of Vujica with a nostalgic smile. Characters of his ilk do not survive in the journalism of the 21st century.

peter vujica

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