Donald Runnicles
(c) Simon Pauly

There is trouble at the Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF): After the management did not re-invite three musicians to the Festival Orchestra, the GTMF Players’ Committee launched an online petition calling for the reinstatement of the three. A press release names the three musicians as former Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra principal second violinist Jennifer Ross, Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra principal violist Kristen Linfante and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bassoonist and contrabassoonist Juan de Gomar. The latter two musicians serve on the GTMF orchestra’s Players’ Committee and all three have a long association with the festival.

This week, Grand Teton Music Festival’s Music Director Donald Runnicles has sent a letter to the festival’s executive committee and board of directors, expressing his displeasure with the disinvitation of Linfante, Ross and Gomar. Runnicles is Music Director since 2006. In his letter he says a multitude of orchestra musicians had informed the festival management they would “not participate” in the 2020 festival, if the three musicians were not reinstated.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he says, “as it currently stands, without an orchestra in 2020, without strong board leadership, without an imminent resolution, it is well-nigh impossible for me to imagine my role at the helm of the 2020 Grand Teton Music Festival. »

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