In praise of a music critic who knows his history

A man holds a baton in one hand as he conducts an orchestra
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra music director Lahav Shani is a former Zubin Mehta protégé.
(Shai Skiff)

Music critic’s praises sung

Regarding: “Israel Phil’s Worthy Heir to Mehta” [Nov. 11]: This is a love note to Mark Swed — to how he weaves his knowledge of music through the sinews of his responses, of his humanity, and elevates and focuses the impact of the past upon the present, like starlight.

Reading Swed’s reviews, I look up into a sky that is always there, and I am gripped by the reality of sources of light from the past, captive in that moment and opened to feeling, connection, mystery and awe.

So it is when I read Swed’s review of the exploration of suffering in Mahler; of the presence of it in Ben-Haim’s work; of the new magician, conductor Lahav Shani and his Israel Philharmonic orchestral limbs, voices, breath, manifestation; of the music that is drawn through the veins and hearts of living beings, through our gift and curse of consciousness, and the immediacy and incomprehensible depths of these created instants of intense contact.


Leah Sullivan

This reader is tuning in on election night

I would like to point out that in the L.A. Times edition in which Mary McNamara’s column ran [“Tune Out Election Night Analysis,” Nov. 10], there were about 21 other articles on different aspects of the elections. Is she suggesting we shouldn’t bother reading any of these, including hers, but simply wait till all the results are finalized?

And should we also stop listening to the radio?

I’ll continue to watch, read and listen.

Lewis Rosenthal
Los Angeles

Tuned in to TV writing

The column [“Why ‘Atlanta’ Was Absurdly Great,” Nov. 11] is why Robert Lloyd is my favorite critic, anywhere.

Curtis Horton

Still waiting on a true apology

I am moved by the bravery Natasha Henstridge showed in calling out her abuser and couldn’t agree more with her words: “An apology goes a long way” [“Speaking Out Was Hard, but Silence Would Be Worse,” Nov. 13].

I personally have not seen a sincere apology from any of the public figures accused of sexual assault. A true apology is no qualifications, no excuses, no shifting the blame elsewhere.

There could be real healing found in some of these men taking responsibility for their actions that caused harm and suffering, but it seems there may not be the will or ability needed to do so.

I hope Henstridge’s words prompt someone out there to say, “I’m sorry.”

Jackie Finch
Los Angeles

A good use for Twitter

The last sentence of Wendy Lee’s [“Twitter Under Musk Worries Media,” Nov. 8] mentions another important institutional user of Twitter that has received little to no attention in stories about changes at Twitter — that is, government users.

Nowhere have I seen mention of the important role that Twitter has played for over a decade in disaster response, emergency management and related fields.


I signed up for Twitter in 2010 at an emergency preparedness conference in Seattle sponsored by local government recipients of FEMA’s Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. Since then, the use of Twitter for public agency communications about wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, special events and more has only grown.

Frequent users include responders such as fire, police and emergency management departments, nongovernmental agencies like the Red Cross, and agencies focused on longer-term disaster recovery efforts.

The loss of Twitter as a reliable, essential public communication tool for emergency preparedness, response and recovery would be a disaster.

Sally Richman
Los Angeles

A tempest on a TV show

Regarding: “The ‘Yellowstone’ Tornado” [Nov. 14]: When I watch the drama “Yellowstone,” I view its messages on many different levels.

On one level, it is the struggle of Native Americans to increase their power in Montana in order to keep their land pristine and bring back their culture.

On a second level, it is the story of ranchers like Beth and her father who are fighting against an outside world where money is polluting a way of life.

And finally, it is a struggle to keep the “rich elites” from polluting Montana with their vacation homes and nostalgia for living vicariously on a “white reservation.”

Mark Walker
Yorba Linda