Michael Klein, Chair, Board of Trustees
Michael Klein has been a member of the AMFS Board of Trustees since 2008, leading its Strategic Planning process in 2014, and serving as its Vice Chair for four years. In 2018 he became Chair. Klein has had extensive involvement in public and private business, currently including the CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ – CSGP), a publicly traded database and software company focused on real estate, which he co-founded and for which he serves as Board Chair; Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE – TPC), a construction company for which he serves as Vice Chair and Lead Director; and ThinkFood Group, a privately held restaurant concern. His current principal non-profit activities include serving as Board Chair of The Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, DC), as well as Board Chair and CEO of the Sunlight Foundation, the Gun Violence Archive, and the Global Warming Mitigation Project—all of which he founded. He is also a member of the boards of The Aspen Institute, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Harvard Law School.
Robert Spano, Music Director
Conductor, pianist, composer, and pedagogue Robert Spano is renowned for his creative, thoughtful programming. Approaching his nineteenth season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, this imaginative conductor is responsible for nurturing and expanding the careers of numerous classically trained composers, conductors, and performers. As music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he oversees the programming of more than 400 events and educational programs, including the Aspen Conducting Academy.
The Atlanta School of Composers (a group of composers whose work Spano has championed with the ASO) reflects Maestro Spano’s commitment to American contemporary music. He has led ASO performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music festivals. Guest engagements have included orchestras such as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia symphony orchestras, as well as Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. His opera performances include Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and the 2005 and 2009 Seattle Opera productions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. In Fall 2018, Spano made his Metropolitan Opera conducting debut with the U.S. Premiere of Nico Muhly’s newest opera, Marnie.
Highlights of Spano’s 2017–18 season included several world premiere performances, including a new work by prolific composer Bryce Dessner at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor; a tuba concerto by Atlanta School of Composers alumna Jennifer Higdon, performed by Craig Knox and the Pittsburgh Symphony; Melodia, For Piano and Orchestra, by Canadian composer Matthew Ricketts at the Aspen Music Festival; and a new work by the ASO’s own bassist Michael Kurth. With the Atlanta Symphony, Spano brought local audiences inspired, thoughtful programming, including the beginning of the two-year “LB/LB” celebration commemorating Leonard Bernstein and Ludwig van Beethoven, featuring six Bernstein works, nine Beethoven Symphonies, and vocal masterpieces including Verdi’s Otello and Bernstein’s Candide.
With a discography of critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon, and ASO Media recorded over nine years, Robert Spano has won six Grammy Awards with the Atlanta Symphony. He is on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. Maestro Spano is one of two classical musicians inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and is proud to live in Atlanta.
Alan Fletcher, one of this country's most accomplished music administrators and respected composers, was born in 1956 in Riverside, New Jersey, and earned his baccalaureate at Princeton University (1978) and his master's degree (1979) and doctorate (1983) at Juilliard. He studied composition with Roger Sessions, Milton Babbitt, Edward T. Cone, and Paul Lansky and piano with Jacob Lateiner and Robert Helps. In 1985, Fletcher was appointed to the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, teaching composition and theory and serving successively during his 16-year tenure at the school as Dean, Provost, and Senior Vice President. From 2001 to 2006, he was Professor of Music and Head of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, after which he assumed his current position as president and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Fletcher has lectured nationally and internationally on music and music administration and served on many boards, panels, juries, seminars and committees, including the board of the Aspen Institute and the Pittsburgh Opera. He has also contributed articles and op-ed pieces to Symphony magazine, Gramophone magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Sonus: Journal of Global Music, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, Chronicle of Higher Education, and many others. Fletcher has won numerous composing awards and received commissions from the National Dance Institute, the Pittsburgh Symphony (2008 and 2011), Nashua Symphony, National Gallery of Art, Boston Celebrity Series, Duquesne University, New York Camerata, and other noted ensembles, organizations, and soloists. He chaired the 1997 Salzburg Seminar Music for a New Millenium: The Classical Genre in Contemporary Society.