Music: Competition for a Well-Digger

A veteran of his own premieres, Composer Walter Piston sat halfway back in Boston's Symphony Hall. Said he to a friend: "I'll run like a deer to get backstage, and then come out as if I were very reluctant about it. ... This sort of thing makes me wonder if it's worth the trouble to write a symphony."

When the Boston Symphony had finished playing Piston's Third Symphony, Conductor Serge Koussevitzky led Piston by the hand onstage for two curtain calls. Koussevitzky, who always has something glowing to say about anything he introduces, told a reporter that the music could have been...

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