Festival putsch: Grand Teton director is ousted

Festival putsch: Grand Teton director is ousted


norman lebrecht

December 14, 2019

Dr Andrew Palmer Todd, who tried to exclude three musicians from the Grand Teton Music Festival and was forced to back down, resigned yesterday as president and CEO of the festival.

Here’s the press release:

December 13, 2019 (Jackson Hole, WY) – With sincere regret and sadness, the Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) board announces today that they accepted President and CEO Andrew Palmer Todd’s resignation.

GTMF Board Chair Christine Hartley comments, “I speak for the entire board when I express our gratitude for Andrew’s contributions to our Festival. His leadership in Jackson Hole and with our organization has exceeded our expectations. On a personal note, I respect and admire Andrew, and I am very sorry to see him leave. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Andrew Palmer Todd has led the Grand Teton Music Festival through a period of strong growth in audience cultivation and financial security. During Dr. Todd’s tenure, the Grand Teton Music Festival grew from 35 events during the summer to 100 events annually, including the Winter Festival. He expanded summer programs, created a community concert series, and launched a scholarship competition.

The Summer Festival attendance has grown 69% since 2014, and individual contributions have tripled, just reaching an all-time high of $2.4 million in annual contributions for 2019. The Festival’s national notoriety also grew with international attention from The New York Times, London’s Daily Telegraph, BBC Music, Performance Today, and The Guardian.

Dr. Todd comments, “I am indebted to the Jackson Hole community, to the dedicated GTMF staff, our devoted board, and the GTMF musicians. I appreciate the Board’s willingness and trust in me to do my part in leading this organization. It has been a rewarding challenge and privilege.”

GTMF will announce a national search for Dr. Todd’s replacement in the upcoming months. 



  • NYMike says:

    In the aftermath, GTMF musicians should strongly consider unionizing.

  • Larry W says:

    Todd’s stepping down is the best move for all concerned.

  • Olassus says:

    Festival mistake.

    It was Runnicles et al who should have been let go.

    • Charles Ullery says:

      THANK YOU. Runnicles is a poison to that festival and the three musicians deserved to be fired. Their behavior was disgraceful.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Wow….guess who won this battle?

  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    They should hire Charles Ullery, retired principal bassoon of the SPCO, who was a member of the festivals orchestra for years. He knows the organization is a brilliant fundraiser and is a musician!

  • carlos2bass says:

    Very naive of him to have tried to fire the 3 musicians without the approval of the music director.

    • Hiram B says:

      Carlos2bass: Very naive of you to not realize it was a JOINT decision with the executive board to handle a disciplinary matter outside the purview or duties of the music director. NO decision such as this is made unilaterally, and not without compellingly just cause.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        While not part of the music directors job, I would nevertheless have tried to understand Runnicles likely reaction before acting.