I would like to add my own protest to the growing outcry against the injustice that has been done Keith Clark, founder and until recently conductor of the Pacific Symphony.
I am a season subscriber to the concerts of both the L.A. Philharmonic and the Pacific Symphony, so I am in a position to make comparisons between the performances of both orchestras. I am appalled at some of the charges that have been leveled against Dr. Clark's musicianship in extenuation of the board's decision to terminate his contract. He has built a musical organization that need apologize to no other in Southern California.
Indeed, as I have attended Pacific Symphony concerts on Thursday nights and L.A. Philharmonic concerts on Fridays, I have frequently noted a verve and gusto, even brilliance, in the playing of the Pacific Symphony which nicely complements, to my taste, the more staid professionalism of the L.A. Phil. I attribute this to the skill and musicianship of the Pacific Symphony's conductor.
A Times article dated Feb. 26 quoted one source as saying the orchestra had "outgrown" Dr. Clark. That statement is terribly vague, and I find it utterly ridiculous. In 1987, Dr. Clark won a Grammy award for his recording of an Aaron Copland composition. He has guest-conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, and before coming to Orange County was principal guest conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.