Arthur Berger (1912-2003) was an established music composer and critic before he joined the Brandeis faculty in 1953. He received his musical education at New York University, Harvard University, and the Sorbonne in Paris. Through his membership in the Young Composers Group, Berger befriended Aaron Copland and became Copland's principal biographer. He also became a prominent American music critic who received awards from the Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and Fulbright foundations, among many others. He founded the scholarly journal Perspectives on New Music in 1962.
From 1939-1953, Berger worked as a full-time teacher and music critic until joining Brandeis University's new graduate music program in 1953. He specialized in teaching orchestra, chamber, and solo piano music, all areas in which he was renowned as a critic. Berger retired from Brandeis in 1980, becoming the Irving Fine Professor of Music Emeritus. He went on to teach at the New England Conservatory of Music until 1999.