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Patronizing Adams

January 16, 1988

Either The Times' music critics don't know how to write well about contemporary music or they are not informed. We are greatly saddened by the hostile direction your music critics are taking as regards contemporary American music.

Specifically, we feel that John Adams' "Harmonium" deserved a better description than Daniel Cariaga's "makes an attractive noise" ("Philharmonic Gives Local premiere of Adams' 'Harmonium' " (Jan. 9). We are convinced that it is a genuine American masterwork and not to be patronized.

To know and love music helps in recognizing genius when you hear it. To compare Adams with Carl Orff indicates that your music critic does neither.

BETTY FREEMAN

Beverly Hills

Freeman is a longtime Los Angeles music patron who has recently commissioned composer Adams to write a work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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