I hope Tim Page feels better after getting his review of National Symphony Orchestra Director Leonard Slatkin's gala 60th-birthday concert off his chest ["The Slatkin Show; Birthday Gala Is More CBS Than NSO," Style, Sept. 27].

Too bad that he could not enjoy the event for the grand birthday party that it was, with an emphasis on "party." The audience reaction was enthusiastic, as reported by Roxanne Roberts in her Out & About column in Style the same day.

For those of us who can attend concerts only occasionally, it was an unparalleled treat to hear so many outstanding artists on one program. Will we ever again see violinists Midori, Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Elmar Oliveira playing together on the same stage? Or hear the six hands of pianists Emanuel Ax, Marielle Labeque and Joseph Kalichstein playing on the same keyboard at the same time?

Yes, Michel Camilo's "Tropical Jam" was loud and raucous, but did I mistake the smiles on the faces of the first-chair violins as reflecting unadulterated delight?

The audience was certainly delighted; from the standing ovation, you would have been excused for mistaking the event for a rock concert.

Count me as one among the obvious many who were glad, as Mr. Page said in a way meant to ridicule the spirit of a wonderful night, that "no other conductor could have produced such a show."

ELLIS HOLDENRIED

Rockville