While sitting in the Denver airport just now waiting for a flight to New York I got a call from April Libman, chief spokeswoman for the Oregon Bach Festival, confirming that John Evans resigned as general director and president of OBF as long as two weeks ago. He will stay on in a consulting capacity until early next year.
Board members, musicians and donors were told, but no public announcement has been made, she said. “We were told not to put anything out” from the festival, Libman said, because the university would make an announcement.
Libman said Evans resigned his job to be with family. “John stepped down, I believe, to go back to the UK and be with his family. And I think he is looking forward to going home.”
Still no announcement from the University of Oregon about the sudden departure of John Evans as president and general director of the UO’s Oregon Bach Festival, a position he apparently vacated in a hurry last week.
Michael Anderson is now interim executive director, according to the OBF website.
Like him or hate him, Evans put a strong mark on OBF during his seven years here. He expanded its geographic reach and instituted more varied programming. He started fundraising campaigns. In May, he announced a $7.25 million gift from University of Oregon alumni Phyllis and Andrew Berwick — the largest in its history — that is to fund an orchestral training and touring program that will be one of the first of its kind in the country.
But the UO continues not to explain — or even announce — his departure. It’s as though he’s been declared an unperson.
Evans himself shed some light in a Facebook status posted on October 18th:
Do you believe in the seven-year itch? I do, and it’s been keeping me awake at night for months now. So I’ve taken matters into my own hands.
I’ve had a great time here at the OBF, and enjoyed my adventure in the Pacific Northwest. But the job I came to do is done now, and I miss my family and friends, so I’m moving home for good in March!
Meanwhile, I remain on staff at the UO, working on a strategic report on the OBF for the UO Senior Vice-President & Provost, while a national search is launched for my successor.
Then there’s also the small matter of selling my Eugene house and Portland condo, now both on the market. Fingers crossed please everyone! It took me six months to get my life in order for the move here in 2007; I’ve allowed six months to get back. Well that’s the plan!
— feeling excited.