In finely measured fashion, Bob Shingleton lodges a protest against the idea that Gustavo Dudamel is, to quote a recent Newsweek article, "saving classical music." Classical music has many saviors, Bob replies; all over the world, musicians, teachers, administrators, and ordinary music-lovers are working to extend a thousand-year tradition that has been tested many times and never been broken. And what is it that classical music needs to be saved from? Among other things, from media outlets that have all but eliminated classical music from their coverage, paying attention to it only on the rare occasion when an artist acquires the weird chemistry of "star value." Stardom in the American mode is a devouring force, and Bob is right to warn Dudamel — a greatly gifted musician, with room to grow — to be wary of the corporate machine that churns behind it. The ultimate elite, as I've pointed out before, resides in pop culture, and classical music is oddly lucky to be on the other side of the great celebrity divide.