The Aspen Music Festival and School announced late last month that Alan Fletcher will be the organization’s next president and CEO. Fletcher will succeed current AMFS head Don Roth, effective March 1.Fletcher, 49, comes to Aspen from Pittsburgh, where he held the positions of head of the School of Music and professor of music at Carnegie Mellon University since 2001. He has also been provost and senior vice president at the New England Conservatory. A composer, Fletcher holds doctorate and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton.Fletcher was selected by a 15-member search committee led by Matthew Bucksbaum, chair of the AMFS board of trustees, and assisted by the firm, Korn/Ferry International.The AMFS 2006 season, under the theme of Celebrations! is set for June 21-Aug. 20, and spotlights the 70th birthday of music director David Zinman and the 250th birthday and 100th birthday of Mozart and Shostakovich, respectively.For further information, go to http://www.aspenmusicfestival.com.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass has announced two performances in its Winter Jazz series.Jazz musician Peter Cincotti is set for Feb. 24. The singer-pianist’s first DVD, “Live in New York,” was released last month, on the heels of last year’s CD, “On the Moon.” The 22-year-old was also featured last year in the Bobby Darin biopic, “Beyond the Sea.”Pianist Chick Corea will perform March 16 with his Spanish-oriented band Touchstone. The group features three musicians from Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia’s band, plus drummer Tom Brechtlein of Robben Ford & the Blue Line.Both shows are at the Belly Up. For further information, go to http://www.jazzaspen.org.In addition, Jazz Aspen has set the dates for its summer festivals. The June Festival is June 22-25 under a tent in Aspen’s Rio Grande Park. The Labor Day Festival is outdoors in Snowmass Village’s Town Park. Jazz Aspen will also produce, for the second year, Sonoma Jazz +, a music, food and wine festival in Sonoma, Calif.
Three of the writers slated to appear in the Aspen Writers’ Foundation 2006 Winter Words series landed recently on The New York Times best-seller lists.In the Times’ Dec. 18 list, Frank McCourt topped the hardback nonfiction list for his memoir, “Teacher Man”; James Patterson’s “Mary, Mary” led the hardback fiction list; and Ann Patchett’s memoir “Truth & Beauty” was No. 34 on the paperback nonfiction list.Winter Words opens Jan. 20 at the Given Institute with Charles Mann, award-winning journalist and author of the best-seller “1491,” an examination of the Western hemisphere before Christopher Columbus. McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the memoir “Angela’s Ashes,” appears Jan. 28 at the Wheeler Opera House.Patchett, the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of the novel “Bel Canto,” returns to read from “Truth & Beauty: A Friendship,” Feb. 15 at the Given Institute. Lorraine Adams, Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent and author of the novel “Harbor,” is set for Feb. 23 at the Given Institute.Kent Haruf, who earned a Colorado Book Award for “Eventide,” the sequel to his National Book Award finalist, “Plainsong,” appears March 4 at the Given Institute. The series closes March 18 at the Wheeler with Patterson, whose last 17 thrillers have topped The New York Times best-seller list.For tickets and further information, go to http://www.aspenwriters.org or call 925-3122.
Sidney Pike, retired president of CNN International, will be the featured guest on Aspen Media Review Friday, Jan. 6. The locally produced, half-hour program can be heard every Friday at 6:30 p.m. on KAJX-Aspen Public Radio.Pike will join Aspen Media Review co-hosts John C. Noonan and Brian O’Neil in discussing his new book, “We Changed the World: Memoirs of a CNN Satellite Pioneer.” The book traces Pike’s history with CNN founder Ted Turner, from Pike’s start as station manager of a shaky UHF station in Atlanta to a revolution in television with the advent of the 24-hour news format.KAJX can be heard at 91.5 FM in Aspen.
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The property tax overcharge refunds are in the hands of Basalt residents. A new civic organization is cranking up its campaign to have recipients contribute some or all of their refunds to the Basalt Gives effort to benefit midvalley-serving nonprofits.