Baltimore's symphony promises to thrive under new...


September 25, 2001

Baltimore's symphony promises to thrive under new maestro

Tim Smith is absolutely correct in his synopsis of David Zinman's resignation as music director emeritus of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) ("Zinman leaving BSO post," Sept. 17). And he placed that announcement in the proper perspective of the past week's tragedies.

Mr. Smith's timing is 100 percent on; Mr. Zinman's is 100 percent off.

The BSO has never sounded as good as it does under the musical direction of Maestro Yuri Temirkanov. We have been blessed to hear works of art we were never privileged to hear under the baton of any other BSO conductor, and there will be more of these treasures to come.

Instead of criticizing, Mr. Zinman, as music director emeritus, was in a perfect position to request that during his conducting stints with the BSO works by American composers be performed.

But Mr. Zinman didn't do that. Instead he "took the ball and ran home," just as a child might do.

Yes, indeed, as Mr. Smith suggested, "the Baltimore Symphony will survive and thrive," rather gloriously, I would say.

Helene Breazeale


The huffy departure of David Zinman suggests he's a sorehead.

Although I am not a trained musician, I have detected new life, range of expression and zest in our orchestra with the coming of Maestro Yuri Temirkanov. And I definitely prefer the more familiar classics to contemporary compositions.

I applaud our new maestro and our fine symphony orchestra.

Molly K. Johnston

Glen Arm

Orchestra needs a leader who cares for nation's music

I'm appalled by Tim Smith's articles about David Zinman's resignation as music director emeritus of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) ("Zinman resigns from BSO in protest," Sept. 17).

Mr. Smith seems to think Mr. Zinman, a brilliant musician, music director and orchestra-builder, is somehow evil. My bet is that current leadership is the evil empire.

Herbert Greenberg, the BSO's former concertmaster, is not a "pal" of Mr. Zinman's, as Mr. Smith put it. He's a leader who achieved great results when the BSO was without a music director.

It is time that a great American orchestra such as the BSO had leadership from Americans who care about our music.

Lawrence J. Simpson


Higher-density housing isn't good for Perry Hall

As a Perry Hall resident for more than 40 years, I oppose any housing program that doesn't stay within the Honeygo guidelines. I am especially leery of so-called planned unit developments (PUDs), which I see as devices to circumvent the laws ("Baby boomer development drawing local opposition," Sept. 16).

Those behind each PUD want to allow more housing units on a piece of acreage. More units mean more cars, more pollution and more traffic problems.

The real bottom line is greed. Thirty-nine homes on 44 acres will bring in about $14 million. But, using the contractor's estimates, 140 townhouses and condominiums would raise at least $28 million.

William Huppert

Perry Hall

Why must the mayor hire so many New Yorkers?

Mayor Martin O'Malley has just hired another person from New York, this time to help Baltimore prepare for a terrorist attack ("Concerned about terrorism, O'Malley wants a safer city," Sept. 19).

Why are so many top-paying jobs filled by people from New York?

In case the mayor has forgotten, we have 49 other states to choose from - one of them being Maryland.

Ernie Odom


Preparing for terrorism may curtail city services

What will the cost be of Mayor Martin O'Malley's "poster city for civil preparedness" ("Concerned about terrorism, O'Malley wants a safer city," Sept. 19)?

Will it require closing three or four more libraries or five or six more schools, defunding drug treatment programs or cutting more from recreation centers?

And I wonder if his plan will be as effective as the "duck and tuck" training and fallout shelters of my childhood.

Nancy Newman


Tragedy can sound alert about biological attack

It seems impossible to see anything positive in the tragedy in New York, but that horrifying event may serve as a wake-up call to the potential for much larger tragedy from a terrorist attack with a biological agent such as smallpox.

The United States has made only very limited preparations to deal with the consequences of such a biological attack.

We must now mobilize all necessary resources to prevent an attack that could potentially kill millions.

Dave Valente


Bailing out the airlines subsidizes the wealthy

While there can be no doubt that the health of the airline industry is of vital importance to the economy, it is disconcerting to witness the alacrity with which Congress and President Bush added $15 billion to this year's corporate welfare program ("Congress OKs $15 billion to bail out airline industry," Sept. 22).

Americans should be mindful that our money is being used not only to keep planes in the air, but to ensure the continuation of chauffeured commutes and season tickets for airline CEOs.

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