In Sunday’s (3/13) Denver Post, Kyle MacMillan reports that “the 62-year-old Aspen Music Festival and School, Colorado’s largest and most prominent classical-music organization” has named a new music director: Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and professor of conducting at Ohio’s Oberlin Conservatory. MacMillan writes, “The abrupt resignation of [Aspen] music director David Zinman last year exposed sharp divisions among its faculty and leadership, and raised serious questions about its future. In June, a search committee set out to find a successor to Zinman who could not only help heal these wounds but also uphold and enhance the festival’s international reputation. … [Spano] was named to the position Saturday. Alan Fletcher, the festival’s president and chief executive, described the respected conductor as a ‘musician on the world stage’ with a passion for teaching. … The conductor has been signed to a five-year contract. He will begin his duties immediately as music-director designate, leading four concerts this summer, including three on Sunday afternoons with the Aspen Festival Orchestra. He will become the festival’s music director in 2012. In that role, he will conduct five orchestral concerts each summer and, on occasion, opera performances, and direct the festival’s American Academy of Conducting. … Spano sees the appointment as complementing his post in Atlanta because the symphony’s main season ends in early June.”

Photo by J.D. Scott

Posted March 14, 2011