Letter: Alastair Cooke

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Miles Kington ("Been there, done that and he's still only 90", 23 November) suggests that Alastair Cooke's longevity may have something to do with the fact that he plays piano.

Amassing knowledge for the pub quiz, I learn that in Shakespeare's time few people lived past 60; that in 1931, in this country, life expectancy for a man was 58.4 years; and (from the notes accompanying a CD of concerti grossi) that the average age of the composers Corelli, Scarlatti, Albinoni, Vivaldi, Manfredini, Geminiani, Locatelli and Sammartini, when they died, was 70. They all played the piano, or something similar.

LEIGHTON SMITH

Solihull,

West Midlands

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