Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Major omission on Smith Center show

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I just watched the PBS special on the opening of the Smith Center in Las Vegas. I can remember having lunch years ago with former Las Vegas Philharmonic music director Hal Weller and Susan Tompkins when they talked about trying to get a performing arts center for Las Vegas.

I was really disappointed that out of a two-hour program, the only classical music was a pair of short pieces played by Joshua Bell and a female pianist. It’s pretty sad but, I suppose, not unexpected.

It was also unfortunate that no mention was made of, nor was there a performance by, the Las Vegas Philharmonic. In addition, no mention was made of the Herculean efforts on the part of Weller to expand the footprint of classical music in the city and the school system. A tragic omission, in my humble opinion.

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  1. Excellent point letter writer. And it took a proud Virginian to make it!


  2. Went to see "Wicked" last week at the Smith Center. What a great treasure this place is for our great City!

  3. Mr. Chapline I, like you, enjoy classical music and opera. I have an excellent sound system in my car and enjoy taking a ride once a week just to listen. I would enjoy a classical venue here in Las Vegas. While visiting England I attended a choral recital in Oxford that included many of Byrd's works. It was breathtaking!!

  4. I'm very pleased to enthusiastically agree with Mr. Jack on this one. I attended the opening night of the Smith Center, and have been to more than a dozen events since then, and it is truly a world-class venue.

  5. I had the opportunity to play st the Smith Center, as part of the Clark County School District benefit concert. The smith Center compares very favoribly to many of the finest music venues in the United States, and I was also dissapointed that the Las Vegas Philharmonic was not featured. They also missed a grand opportinity to do a feature on the youth orchestras, dance companies and other scholastic fine arts programs, which make Las Vegas and Reno prennial leaders in the arts across the country.

    I understand that the Phil is not ready for a 40-50 concert season, like CSO or NYP, but they are growing and improving every year, so until that comes to pass, touring productions will make up a large part of revenue generation.