Music: First on the Coast

Four years ago, the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Arts was little more than a musical cafeteria where its 50 students could nibble at courses as they pleased. Established as a profit-making corporation, it had not made a profit in decades; it did not own a typewriter and did not really need one because its director could not afford a secretary.

By last week, cafeteria no longer, the Los Angeles Conservatory was serving up a carefully balanced musical diet. It also had a spruce new home, a roster of first-class names on its faculty and an accreditation from the National Association...