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Educating the Maestro

March 08, 1992

Regarding "The Maestro's Progress Report," by Martin Bernheimer (Feb. 16):

Having been a regular attendee of the L.A. Philharmonic for more than 50 years and a subscriber at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion since its opening until I could no longer take the parade of itinerant conductors, I highly resent Esa-Pekka Salonen's brashness in "seeing audience education as part of his mission."

If Klemperer, Mehta, Guilini and all the other highly respected conductors in between have not "educated" the audience, how does this conceited upstart think he can?

Apparently the coughing and the unconventional applause disturb this young man. Perhaps he should have been warned that there is a particularly virulent epidemic of the flu besieging the Los Angeles area. Had all the coughers remained at home, then he would have had the opportunity to bemoan an empty house.

In regard to those who applaud at the "wrong" time, other more highly esteemed professionals welcome applause, even though it may be untimely, for it indicates an innate and spontaneous appreciation of the artist's efforts.

I think someone should inform Salonen that there is more culture in Los Angeles than the myth implies.


South Pasadena

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