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Why hold off on hearing a prodigy?

Daniel Lozakovich performs the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.Hilary Scott

I strongly disagree with Jeremy Eichler’s discussion of the place of prodigies in the classical music world, in his review of Daniel Lozakovich’s spectacular performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto at Symphony Hall (“At BSO, music from Russia and the Baltics, old and new,” Good Life, Nov. 23).

The reaction of the packed audience to the beauty of Lozakovich’s performance, which Eichler noted, speaks volumes about the violinist’s extraordinary talent and his ability to connect emotionally with those in attendance. As we gathered in the hallway at intermission, we were grateful to have heard such a sincere and beautifully phrased performance, and we marveled at what we might hear from this young artist in the years to come.


Eichler, who made a point of praising Lozakovich’s playing, would have us ponder “why we are hearing him now,” rather than waiting some years for a more seasoned performance. In response, I would ask: Why would we ever think of passing up on his enormous gifts and talent now? If Eichler had his way, the world would never have Glenn Gould’s 1955 performance of the Goldberg Variations, at age 22. Is it really fair to wonder why we had to hear Gould then, and did not wait 26 years for his reimagined 1981 version?

Sheila Waxman


The writer is a longtime concert pianist and music educator.