Commentary Magazine


Samuel Lipman

To the Editor:

I must be speaking for many when I lament the death last December of Samuel Lipman. He was conducting piano classes and performing, sometimes together with his wife, Jeanine Dowis, in Aspen, Colorado when I first met him during the 1960’s.

While Mr. Lipman became known as an outstanding music critic in your pages, it should also be noted that he acted as the publisher of a magazine, the New Criterion, and that he also published a work on Matthew Arnold and several collections of essays. But his activities as a writer should not be allowed to overshadow his gifts in performance, as, for example, when he played Liszt and Rachmaninoff in the Aspen amphitheater.

I well recall his acute critical perceptions in COMMENTARY. He had a special understanding of the changing role of orchestra conductors over the years—from “authoritarian” to “cooperative”—and his comprehension of the Wagner legacy struck me as unparalleled.

Samuel Lipman invariably upheld the highest standards.

David Lawson
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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