The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Alann Sampson, interim president and CEO of the Van Cliburn Foundation, has abruptly resigned — with the famous international piano competition only six months away.
Sampson joined the Cliburn as a volunteer before the very first competition in 1962 and had been the board chair until 2009, when Richard Rodzinski resigned as president after 23 years. She stepped in — as staff members began departing. Even David Worters — hired to replace Sampson as president — left in 2011 after only six months in the job.
Nonetheless, Cliburn board chair Clara Thompson tells the Star-Telegram that Sampson’s resignation was “not cause for broader concern.”
“We’ve got management that is covering all this. There is not a gap. There is no vacancy. We’re fine. The number of [contestan] applications are soaring.”
She will be replaced on an interim basis by Jacques Marquis, who joined the Cliburn staff last summer. Sampson’s departure happened so quickly – they haven’t removed her name or title from the website.
Thompson said she hoped a replacement would be chosen by early next year. Sampson could not be reached for comment.