To the Editors:
Samuel Lipman’s analysis of the present fate of some of our greatest orchestras (“Room on the Podium?” April, 1983) is stern but on balance enlightening.
In technical terms, the quality of our great orchestras has never been better, but listening to these orchestras on record from twenty and thirty years ago does reveal great music-making from conductors like Szell, Munch, Reiner, Mitropoulos, and Walter, to mention only a few. Perhaps only the Chicago Symphony under Solti maintains those high conductorial standards today.
In terms of commitment to a city and an institution, I would like to point out that Pierre Boulez, the previous music director of the New York Philharmonic, did participate in the musical life of New York with his inauguration of the popular “Rug” concerts at Fisher Hall, his Prospective Encounter concerts, his participation in concerts by the Chamber Music Society of...