David Hajdu is one of the most respected arts critics in America. Currently the staff music critic for The Nation, he served as music critic for The New Republic for 12 years. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Harper's and other publications.
Hajdu is the author of seven books of cultural history, criticism, and fiction: Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn, Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America, Heroes and Villains: Essays on Movies, Music, Comics and Culture, Love for Sale: Pop Music in America, Adrianne Geffel: A Fiction, and A Revolution in Three Acts: The Radical Vaudeville of Bert Williams, Eva Tanguay and Julian Eltinge, a work of graphic nonfiction with art by John Carey. He is a three-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and three-time winner of the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award for Music Writing. His book Lush Life was named one of "Hundred Best Nonfiction Books of All Time" by The New York Times.
In addition to writing about music, Hajdu is a successful songwriter and librettist for concert music. His most recent project is the song cycle "The Parsonage," a work of historical nonfiction in musical form, created in collaboration with the composers Regina Carter, Ted Hearne, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and others.
Hajdu's book in progress is a history of machine-made art, AI, and computational creativity, to be published by W.W. Norton.
In 2022, Hajdu was appointed by President Biden to the National Council on the Humanities.