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Monday, April 1, 2013
My colleague Benedict Goodfriend has justifiably been called a number of disparaging invectives, but I take issue with Judy Barger Edgell's letter "Classical music snobbery wins no fans," March 28 Pick of the day.
Goodfriend's point was misinterpreted to read he was advocating for an end to symphonic pops concerts. He was merely stating that many symphony orchestras are now playing a disproportionate amount of entertainment music at the expense of art music.
The Roanoke Symphony, for example, has increased the number of these concerts while cutting the number of rehearsals for their series concerts. The letter he was responding to, W.L. "Lefty" McLawhorn's "Roanoke's conductor pulls in the talent" from March 14, was praising David Wiley for bringing pop artists to Roanoke. This is hardly a feather in Roanoke's cap since I know of very few entertainers (or artists) who won't perform when offered their fee.
The musical snob label simply doesn't fit Goodfriend. One may not agree with his artistic renderings of "Little Surfer Girl" or his Zepplin Medley, but surely his performances with jazz artists, beat boxers and hip hop dancers as well as the classical cannon earns him the right to a higher form of insult.
Virginia Tech Music Department
Cellist, Kandinsky Trio
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