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The Music Men

May 16, 1987

I've been a subscriber to the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the L.A. Philharmonic ever since the Music Center opened its doors.

In answer to the question of "What Lies Ahead" at the Music Center (by Barbara Isenberg, May 10), and in answer to some of the partly critical observations of the past, I simply say, (Taper Artistic Director) Gordon Davidson alone cannot save the Music Center.

The Taper's outstanding record cannot be matched by the Ahmanson and the Philharmonic. The lack of top quality productions at the Ahmanson and the lack of the very best guest conductors, such as Bernstein, Kleiber, Maazel, Haitink, is, of course, only part of the reason why there are less subscribers.

Thank God for Martin Manulis, who is coming in as artistic director to the Ahmanson. He is tops. But what about (L.A. Philharmonic Executive Director) Ernest Fleischmann? Who will replace him?

LEON ASKIN

President emeritus of the

American National Theater and Academy West, Beverly Hills

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