Instrumentalists: Seeking a Mark

Like some Michelangelo who carves peach pits, or a Shakespeare whose medium is the haiku, Harmonica Virtuoso Larry Adler has found that there are grave drawbacks to being the best of a rare breed. His tongue-twisting technique and feathery phrasing have dazzled concert audiences for more than a quarter-century; but purists still dismiss his performances of classical music as gimmickry, akin to playing horn concertos on a length of garden hose. Now and then, such composers as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Darius Milhaud have written pieces for him, but the repertory...

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