By devoting the first two weeks of June to a festival of contemporary music entitled “Horizons ’83,” the New York Philharmonic demonstrated once again that aesthetic tasks must be their own reward. In seven concerts (more accurately, six concerts and one open rehearsal) the Philharmonic, under the artistic direction of the American composer Jacob Druckman, attempted to give a conspectus of the traditionally oriented music written during the last fifteen years or so in this country and, to a limited extent, abroad. The festival undoubtedly demonstrated the Philharmonic’s sense of responsibility toward our time; other, purely artistic, verdicts were much less favorable.
Everything about this festival was on a large scale. The Philharmonic is said to have lost a half million dollars on the concerts, an amount presumably to be made up by generous subventions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council ...
Samuel Lipman was publisher of The New Criterion
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