Music: 50¢ Symphony

Sometimes music, like wine, is judged by the price on its label. San Franciscans, who each year jampack their Civic Auditorium (at a $4.80 top) for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra concerts, last week were offered a "People's Symphony" — plus Sir Thomas Beecham — for 50¢. They did not seem to want it.

The bargain-counter symphony was the idea of Nicholas Johnston, a wealthy photographer whose portraits of the carriage trade fetch the fanciest prices in northern California. To bring music to the people, he hired Sir Thomas, then laboriously recruited 82 musicians from music schools, shipyards, radio stations and Hollywood...

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