We need new music to help us face fears, keep our...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 03, 2001

We need new music to help us face fears, keep our spirits alive

The defensive responses to David Zinman's resignation as music director emeritus of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) by Tim Smith ("Departure won't hurt BSO image," Sept. 18) and the editorial "Symphony for troubled times" (Sept. 20) are understandable, especially given the musical gifts of Yuri Temirkanov.

However, the gift Mr. Zinman has given us in this decision is to bring up an issue important to the vibrancy of our culture.

Particularly in light of Sept. 11's terrible events, it is clear we need new art to help us process and feel the horror of what we as a country have experienced, as well as face the future with faith and hope.

Evil tries to destroy hope and all that is creative. New paintings, drama, novels, poetry, dance and yes, even musical composition, help us to process our fear and anger, keep our spirits alive and connect us with divine inspiration and love.

Our artistic forebears spoke eloquently to their time. We look to our contemporaries - and our children look to their peers - for a creative response to what is now transpiring. More than ever, we need to hear these voices.

We applaud the BSO's great contribution to new music, especially American music, in the past and encourage this great orchestra to continue to take risks by commissioning new music.

Our future depends on it.

Victoria Sirota and Robert Sirota

Baltimore

Robert Sirota is director of the Peabody Institute.

As a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for 19 years, I know David Zinman better than Tim Smith does ("Departure won't hurt BSO image," Sept. 18).

And while none of us knows all the reasons why Mr. Zinman gave up his title as conductor emeritus, I can tell you that it was not a selfish or frivolous decision and must have been very painful.

Mr. Zinman had a vision for this orchestra. He put us on the map with superb recordings, successful tours, innovative radio broadcasts and, most of all, our promotion of contemporary American music.

An orchestra, especially in these times, has an obligation to further the art of its own. And playing contemporary music is a challenge to musicians and audiences alike. It hones the players' technical skills and educates an audience's ear. Like it or not, Mr. Zinman knew that.

For all the negative press this excellent conductor has received, it is no wonder he doesn't want to return. But this is a great loss, and I will miss him.

Mary Bisson

Baltimore

Show our humanitarianism by dropping food to refugees

While we are searching for the terrorists, let's air-drop food supplies to the refugees from Afghanistan to reveal to them and others our humanitarian respect for the needy.

Quinton Thompson

Towson

Why don't Afghan clerics demand bin Laden get out?

I agree with Secretary of State Colin Powell's suggestion that "We want action, not just statements" referring to the Afghan clerics' decision that the ruling Taliban should persuade accused terrorist Osama bin Laden to leave the country ("Afghan clerics say bin Laden should go," Sept. 21).

Why don't these clerics demand that bin Laden leave the country?

If these men are men of Allah, and their faith speaks of peace and not terror, why aren't they stunned, shocked and angry that a so-called Muslim could commit such horrendous acts as those of Sept. 11?

And why aren't the Muslims here in the United States speaking more forcefully against this despicable act of terrorism?

Ruth Von Bramer

Randallstown

Biased Sun and cartoonist preach to a shrinking choir

I find the cartoons drawn by KAL to be humorless, in poor taste and biased against the president as well as all conservatives and most Americans. If this is the best that you can offer, then maybe I should cancel my subscription and start reading the Washington papers.

The Sun has become the voice of the liberal, pacifist, whining society of America. It should report the news and stop preaching its opinions.

When the News-American was in business, we had a choice. Now we have nothing more than an agenda-driven publication run by liberal editors.

The choir that you preach to is getting much smaller. Wise up and start doing the right thing, rather than your thing.

Charles J. Dorsey

Pasadena

Kudos for Sun's coverage of terror attacks' aftermath

I am writing to applaud The Sun's coverage over the the last two weeks.

I notice that most of the stories were bylined by members of The Sun's staff, national and international. I wish you would use these good writers more - rather than Reuters or Associated Press.

I am a newcomer to Baltimore and a former reader of the Washington Post. Not anymore.

Judith Chayes Neiman

Baltimore

The Sun helps us deal with the sadness and look forward to healing. Thank you.

Jannavieve Munford

Baltimore

So far, African-Americans have paid the bill for slavery

The headline on a recent letter asked, "If reparations are owed, who gets the bill?" (Sept. 6).

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