Kozinn received bachelor's degrees in music and journalism from Syracuse University in 1976. He began freelancing as a critic and music feature writer for The New York Times in 1977, and joined the paper's staff in 1991. Before joining the Times, he was a contributing editor to High Fidelity and Keynote magazines, and a frequent contributor to Guitar Player, Keyboard, Pulse and other publications. He was also the first music critic for the New York Observer. Kozinn has written a number of books, including Guitar: The History, the Music, the Players (1984), Mischa Elman and the Romantic Style (1990), The Beatles (1995) and Classical Music: A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings (2004).
Kozinn joined the faculty of New York University in 2004, where he has taught courses in music criticism, Baroque music literature and the Beatles. He also taught a course in the history of musical interpretation at the Juilliard School.
In September 2012, the New York Times reassigned Kozinn from his former duties as a classical music critic to general cultural reporting, which caused controversy at the time. In December 2014, Kozinn left the Times, as part of the newspaper's most recent round of layoffs and buyouts.
Kozinn is married to the writer Paula Brochu. The couple resides in Portland, Maine.
- Kozinn's posting on Facebook
- "Allan Kozinn Is Married to Johanna Beale Keller". New York Times. 1988-09-04. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
- The New York Times Essential Library: Classical Music – A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings, "About the author", Macmillan Publishers
- David Stabler (2012-09-04). "New York Times causes outcry for reassigning music critic Allan Kozinn". Oregonian. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
- Susan Elliott (2014-12-18). "NYTimes Loses Key Critic and Reporter". Musical America. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
- "Paula Brochu, Allan Kozinn". New York Times. 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
- Allan Kozinn (2015-08-30). "Music critic Allan Kozinn finds a home in Portland". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2016-03-10.