Music: Rating U.S. Orchestras

TIME'S Music Critic William Bender, who wrote the cover story on Sir Georg Solti, here turns to other conductors and gives his considered, though to some perhaps arbitrary, ranking of U.S. orchestras:

THE TOP THREE

CHICAGO SYMPHONY

Sine qua non.

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC

The musicians grumblingly nicknamed him "the French Correction," and some older subscribers yawn or go home early, but it is indisputable that Pierre Boulez, 48, has brought the orchestra smack into the middle of the century and given it a pristine technical polish.

PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA

After almost four decades at the helm, Eugene...

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