Letter: Music is alive and well in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Music is alive and well in Aspen

When Andy Stone asked himself whether Aspen has lost its musical Eden (“After the fall: Has Aspen lost its musical Eden?” Commentary, The Aspen Times, July 20), he should have visited the new campus, spoken with students and attended one of this summer’s concerts. The answer is obvious. The Aspen Music Festival and School is alive and well — continuing to realize its place in the Aspen Idea of body, mind and spirit. Instead, Andy chose to revisit the board fight of yesteryear and misconstrued the cause and outcome of the decisions to reduce the number of students attending the school and revitalize the faculty. Alan Fletcher was not doing the bidding of cost-cutting businessmen on the board. He was catching up on implementing long-overdue reforms to be sure the festival and school could face the challenges of thriving in the 21st century.

Today, the festival and school are blessed with a board populated by thoughtful philanthropists, dedicated faculty members and members of the Aspen community. Andy’s belief that “hard-nosed businessmen” have changed the character of the festival and school is simply not correct. The new campus and the “Where Dreams Begin” fundraising campaign were designed to benefit the music school and provide endowment funds for faculty salaries and student scholarships.

As a former board member who lived through the rough patches, I am proud of what the festival and school have accomplished. The board and CEO made careful decisions that benefited the festival and school and helped to perpetuate the Aspen Idea.

Richard Felder


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