Tension eases in Aspen as factions put disagreements on hold

Posted on: August 16, 2010

In Sunday’s (8/15) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin reports from the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado. “For more than a year bitter disputes involving the musicians, board members and management have festered, leading to a dizzying series of events at one of the nation’s premier classical music festivals and training grounds. Aspen’s president, Alan Fletcher, was ousted, reinstated and given a symbolic vote of no confidence. David Zinman, the festival’s music director and a founder of its respected conducting institute, quit in anger. The board chairman was voted out. Small groups of musicians and board members campaigned against Mr. Fletcher. Defenders arose, and others coalesced around one side or the other, bitterly dividing the faculty and trustees. … Now, more than halfway through the festival’s 62nd season, music seems to have regained the upper hand. While passions remain high, the fighting has stopped. In interviews during a recent three-day visit, people on all sides said they wanted to move on. A search committee is working to find a replacement for Mr. Zinman. And while some donors said they were withholding their dollars, festival management reports that overall giving has not suffered.”

Posted August 16, 2010