The other Berger’s take
October 20, 2009
I can sympathize with Bruce C. Berger, who has been forced over the years to see his name, which is the same as mine, over letters whose opinions he doesn’t necessarily share. It seems the fate of Aspen writers to have namesakes. There are also two Jeremy Bernsteins, one a writer and one not, and I have frequently puzzled over which wrote a particular letter. A letter from one of them was once signed, The Other Jeremy Bernstein.
As for Alan Fletcher, it was his practice to divide Aspenites into two categories, one to cultivate and one to dismiss, and there was no way for the favored to know of the other category. When it came to Bruce Bergers, he picked one of each, but since I had more friends among the unworthies than the favored, I didn’t take it personally.
And amid the criticism of Alan, I would like to praise him for an innovation that was a great success and that I hope will be continued and expanded by his successor, and that is his program to integrate the Music Festival with the other arts organizations. For too long the arts have been isolated from each other, and Alan’s concerts combining orchestra and ballet, his taking music to the Art Museum and his gestures toward The Aspen Institute are, I believe, an outreach of Fletcher’s that is his best legacy and that we should build on.
Meanwhile, this is a time for both sides of the Alan Fletcher controversy to pull together, to support the Festival through difficult times with increased donations, and do what we can to strengthen Aspen’s signature contribution to the arts.
Bruce N. Berger
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