Music: Critical Composer

You know who critics are?—the men who have failed in literature and art.

—Disraeli

New York City's newspapers and magazines support some 40 regular music critics. Their main job is to keep tabs on the city's 1,500-odd concerts, operas and recitals each season. Most of them are journalists first & last, though many are amateur pianists. But, now & then, a scant half dozen expose themselves to brotherly blasts as active composers.

Last week the Herald Tribune's shy, scholarly Critic Arthur Berger, 40, took his biggest leap: his Ideas of Order, a twelve-minute orchestral piece inspired by poems of Wallace Stevens, got its premiere...

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