The symphony should focus on the classics


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We believe the comments of Elizabeth Bloom, the Post Gazette’s classical music critic, that were published in “A Flurry of Wishes: The Magazine Staff Reflects on Changes They’d Like to See in the City’s Cultural Scene for the New Year” (Jan. 1) are superficial and not well-considered.

To express “radical change” as a goal in symphony programming is in itself radical. Symphony music, by definition, grows out of a tradition and cannot and should not be ignored. She suggests that the orchestra should ignore the musical equivalents of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, Beethoven and Mozart, and concentrate on new music! However, the fact is new music is poorly attended when offered.

The present symphony programs offer a good balance between new and old music. If traditional classical music were not the core of symphony programming, it would not be a symphony.

The article suggests following the paradigm of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and incorporating visual effects into all of its concerts.

The PNME cannot fill Heinz Hall; secondly, there are other arts that incorporate both visual effects and music, namely ballet and opera. Those arts should not be confused with symphony music. All have their place in a cultural setting.

When we are listening to Beethoven, we want to listen and immerse ourselves in the music and not have visual arts detracting from the experience of the sublime music.

BILL and LUCILLE KENWORTHY
Mt. Lebanon


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