I thank Mark Swed for his loving tribute to violinist Isaac Stern, and the insightful words of the L.A. Philharmonic's Deborah Borda ("He Aimed Music at Listeners' Hearts," Sept 25).
Some years ago, after the end of the Cultural Revolution in China, Stern made a trip there, which was made into a documentary (thankfully still available on video), "From Mao to Mozart." I vividly recall wanting the film to never end. It gave me such joy, and reaffirmed why I had become a musician. But more, it made me proud to be a human being.
As Swed so beautifully pointed out, and is so evident in "From Mao to Mozart," Isaac Stern was a great soul who did much more than simply make music.
I was offended by Swed's column.
Stern was a unique force of nature and a remarkable individual in his own right; comparing him in a belittling way with other violinists did his playing and his memory a disservice.
JIM ARKATOV Los Angeles