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Former Conductor's Discipline Made the L.A. Philharmonic Shine

September 21, 2003

"A decent level of orchestral professionalism" is hardly enough to say about former Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Alfred Wallenstein ("The Salonen-Gehry Axis," by Mark Swed, Aug. 31). Consider the lack of professionalism of many of his instrumentalists, and the fact that many moonlighted in the studios and perhaps didn't sustain a rigorous sense of discipline. As the president of the Hollywood High School Philharmonic Club, I had a nearly weekly opportunity to attend Philharmonic rehearsals and observe Wallenstein. He may have been the first conductor to establish and demand the kind of discipline that has earned the Philharmonic its stature.

Imre Sutton

Fullerton

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