In January 1930 he became the first staff music and drama critic for The Gazette, a position he held for nearly 40 years. In 1940 and for some seasons thereafter he was the intermission commentator for the CBC of the New York Philharmonic broadcasts; on one occasion in 1945 he presented Stravinsky, who was visiting Montreal, in a rare radio interview. Archer was also commentator for the CBC series "Canadian Music in Wartime." For several years Archer was program annotator for the MSO, the Montreal Festivals, the Casavant Society, and the Opera Guild. He contributed to publications in Canada and abroad. In 1959 he travelled to Vienna and wrote an illuminating series of articles on the Viennese masters from Mozart to Bruckner.
Archer's large personal library included full scores of all of the operas of Wagner and most of those by Richard Strauss. His extended essay on the latter's music has remained in manuscript and is held at the CMM and the NL of C. He once wrote: "None of the decisions reached by the critic... can be regarded as final judgment. The whole history of criticism is strewn with the corpses of critical opinions that have been put forward as judgments." Archer was always at the forefront of the Montreal music scene, fostering new talent and promoting public support for worthwhile projects.
"Functions of a musical critic," Montreal Gazette, 20 Dec 1930, repr 23 Jul 1966
"The season of music 1930-1931," Montreal Music Year Book 1931 (Montreal 1931)
Author Gilles Potvin
"Critic's life," Montreal Gazette, 10 Jan 1959
Siskind, Jacob. "Former Gazette critic dies," Montreal Gazette, 30 Aug 1971
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