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Knows the score at USC Thornton

October 25, 2009

My thanks to the L.A. Times and to Laurie Winer for the tribute to USC music ["At USC, Classes Beyond Canons," Oct. 11]. The school is unquestionably one of the greatest in the country; it has been for many years, and it continues to thrive under Robert Cutietta.

Several bits of your piece caught me by surprise. I have kept track of the school for the past 29 years and had never before heard that Stravinsky had been a faculty member.

I vividly remember initiating the film/TV scoring program in 1984, but I can assure you that any complaints about the program from any faculty member never reached the dean. (I was that dean at the time.) Certainly no threats of resignation came from members of the theory-composition faculty, all of whom were quite positive about this addition.

William Thomson

Pasadena

Editor's note: School officials confirm that Stravinsky did not have a formal professorship or teaching post at USC Thornton. However, they point out that he had an informal role at USC as a conductor for a new music series and was an influence on many students.

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