But do we really want classics to be casual?

BEFORE the L.A. Philharmonic mothballs its tuxes and black dresses ["Bach? Kick Back," by Donna Perlmutter, May 1], someone should remind them that the whole point of concert formal wear is to present a uniform visual effect. The classical audience should be able to focus on the music, not what the bassoonist is wearing on his feet or why the cellist is wearing a pink polo shirt with orange pants.

But that's an aesthetic detail. "Casual Fridays" is really based on one deeply objectionable premise -- that there's nothing particularly special about what we're doing here. So the players dress as if they're lounging at home, and the audience is encouraged to kick back, relax and forget concert etiquette.

By the time food and drink show up during concerts (the next logical step, I'm sure), those of us who treasure live classical music as something special and valued will be long gone.

Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

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