To the Editors:
One must not only agree with Samuel Lipman’s article about the Van Cliburn contest (“What the Cliburn Contest Thinks of Pianists,” September 1985) but express thanks that for the first time a journal which is not intended primarily for musicians uncovers the absurdities of what went on there. Everything he writes, as far as I am able to judge, is accurate and important, except for a few details, such as that Leon Fleisher did have a career between 1952 and 1965, and that the great solo music for piano certainly includes the works of Mozart and of Liszt. But there are a number of other points to be added, judging from what I heard on public radio and watched on public television.

It was a disgrace, for instance, to have comedian Steve Allen announce the events on the radio, for he was not in the least adequately prepared. The performance of Mr. Corigliano’s piece elicited some comments from him that surely...

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