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LETTERS

Who's a genius?

October 19, 2003

I have two cavils with Peter Gelb's otherwise interesting article on the late Vladimir Horowitz ("Minding Mr. Horowitz," Oct. 5).

First, Gelb rather extravagantly refers to Horowitz as " ... arguably the greatest concert pianist of all time." Has Gelb never heard of Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann, Josef Hofmann or Artur Rubinstein?

Secondly, Gelb refers to Horowitz as a genius. This hallowed word is too often bandied about. I don't believe a mere virtuoso can be called a "genius."

However beguiling Mr. Horowitz's eccentricities, it is the great composers who are the geniuses. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Chopin, etc., were all outstanding virtuosos as a matter of course.

Sam Woods

Los Angeles

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