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