Sarah Bryan Miller, 68, a former freelance writer for Wednesday Journal, died on Nov. 28, 2020, following a 10-year battle with breast cancer. Known as Bryan, she used her full name professionally because one of the papers she wrote for, the New York Times, already had a Bryan Miller on staff.
Starting with the Journal in the 1980s and ’90s and in addition to the Times, she also wrote for the Chicago Reader and Sun-Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she became that paper’s classical music critic.
According to the Post-Dispatch obituary, which ran on Nov. 30, she was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Thomas Wade Hampton Miller III and Eleanor Cosens “Dolly” Simons Miller and grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas. The family moved to the Chicago area in 1967. After graduating from Carthage College in 1974, she began singing in the chorus at Lyric Opera of Chicago and also sang several featured roles, including Cherubino in Chicago Opera Theater’s first production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in 1975.
She wrote a weekly column on classical music for AOL and a music critic with the New York Times took notice and she became a regular contributor to both the New York Times.
In 1998, she relocated to St. Louis to become the classical music critic for the Post-Dispatch. In 2019, she was honored as one of the St. Louis Press Club’s Media Persons of the Year.
Bryan is survived by her daughters, Louisa B. Rix and Eleanor M. Rix; her brother, Thomas Wade Hampton Miller IV (Lynn); her nephew, Thomas Wade Hampton Miller V; and her niece, Celia J. Miller (Bill Forsko).
The inurnment service was private; a public memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the music fund of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Ladue; Opera Theatre of St. Louis; or the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra are appreciated.