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Music Buffs Rally to Support of Clark

March 19, 1988

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.

At the time the board announced non-renewal of his contract, Dr. Clark was in Czechoslovakia conducting the Radio Symphony of Bratislava. Apparently, European orchestras have not yet outgrown his conducting skills.


Department of English

Biola University

La Mirada

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