Music: From Every Mountainside

"Let's start a music festival!" is a cocktail-party phrase that carries some of the same heady excitement that "Let's start a magazine!" did a generation ago. In 1953, Jascha Rushkin, a violinist with Toscanini's NBC Symphony, whispered the words into the ear of Metropolitan Opera Baritone John Brownlee. In time, facts were added: 1) some three-quarter million people visit New York's Catskill Mountains every summer; 2) a Catskills civic association pledged to buy $100,000 worth of tickets for a five-week festival; 3) the former NBC Symphony, now famed as the Symphony of the...

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