Questions circle Fletcher and Aspen Music Festival
November 6, 2009
ASPEN – Is Alan Fletcher still at the top of the Aspen Music Festival and School? Maybe.
Several close observers of the organization told The Aspen Times Thursday that Fletcher, the festival president and CEO who stepped down abruptly and in vague circumstances in mid-October, was set to be reinstated to his former position.
When asked about those statements, the Aspen Music School said a press release would be issued sometime Thursday. Staff did not comment on the contents of the statement.
However, toward the end of the business day, Laura Smith, communications director of the festival, sent an e-mail to the Times stating that no press release would be issued, and that no further statement would be made by the organization.
Fletcher took over as president of the music festival in early 2006. Late this summer, a debate played out in letters to the editors of the local newspapers on Fletcher’s suitability for the job. Several writers charged him with being cold toward some audience members; a roughly equal number backed Fletcher.
Last month a press release, notable for its brevity, announced that Fletcher would step down at the end of the month. At the time, Rob LeBuhn, chairman of the organization’s board, declined to comment on Fletcher’s departure. Fletcher himself gave no statement, nor did he respond to requests for an interview.
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This past summer, the music festival announced that its summer season would be shortened by a week, and that the faculty membership would be cut by approximately 10 percent.