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Educating the Maestro

March 08, 1992

A rejoinder to the Maestro's remarks, as quoted, to wit:

"We can't just sit there and play over symphonies as before." But isn't that what symphony orchestras are for? As museums are for viewing art?

"We will quite soon see whether we find a new audience." A new audience--when the old one isn't even enough for a full house (apropos, the constant "papering" of the house may account for the untimely clapping, a mark of inexperienced concert-goers)?

"L.A. is interesting. It must deal with a multicultural population." Does multicultural , that buzzword of the '90s, really imply an inability--or unwillingness--to recognize classical music as art that, when it is really Art, transcends borders and cultures?

"The image of the Philharmonic must change. This is no shrine of high art, no holy temple. This building is a typical example of that kind of ... European thinking, with heavy-rooted traditions." Would Masur have said the same about Avery Fisher Hall and the New York Philharmonic? Isn't the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion one of the most aesthetically appealing halls in the world?

And so on. One cannot help but wonder what Salonen has in mind for us, or should one say Ernest Fleischmann?

All rhetorical questions. Nichts fur ungut .

G. HENRY HOFER

Santa Monica

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