“Find a way to work together,” Aspen president tells convocation

Posted on: July 11, 2013

On Monday (7/8) National Public Radio’s Deceptive Cadence blog posted the 2013 convocation speech delivered at Aspen Music Festival and School by its president and CEO, Alan Fletcher: “This has not been a good year for many people we care deeply about in the world of music. In almost all of the problematic cases in recent years, one or more of the ‘sides’ in a dispute is saying that they can’t, or won’t, recognize another side’s good faith, and the rhetoric all around the country has been remarkably poisonous and negative. We really must find a way to work together … Let’s start with one of the most wrongheaded ideas: that, since there are so many good musicians out there, the particular composition of any given orchestra doesn’t matter. It is not true that musicians are interchangeable … The wrongheadedness is not all on one side, though. A friend of mine, a composer, wrote this year that it is the boards and managements of great orchestras who should be locked out. My view is that no one should be locked out. We need to end the adversarial tone of confrontation among managements, musicians, boards—before it tears our system apart … An orchestra is a complex organism in which everyone plays a role, and everyone makes a contribution.”

Posted July 11, 2013