The View from Fez has just learned that Gerard Kurdjian, Artistic Director of the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, has resigned.
Gerard Kurdjian at the 2009 Fes Festival
Gerard was a popular and much respected member of the festival team, so his departure has shocked festival fans.
"It's a sad day for Fez," says former UK representative Mary Finnigan. "Gerard's energy, his deep musical knowledge and his vibrant personality made a lasting impression on everyone who worked with him".
Except for one edition in 2006, Gerard has curated the festival since it started in 1994. During his 15 years in the role, he has brought some of the greatest musicians on the world stage to Fez - including Ravi Shankhar, William Christie, Youssou N'Dour, Miriam Makeba, Jessie Norman, Salif Keita, Julian Weiss and Gilberto Gil - to name but a small selection.
Gerard's decision to leave follows a string of resignations that started with the departure of the festival founder, Faouzi Skali, in 2007. Since then, there have been three people in the Director General role - Naima Lahbil, Fatima Sadiqi and the present incumbent, Abdelhak Azzouzi. North American Director Zeyba Rahman's resignation in 2007 was followed by Financial Director Agnes Amrani, Sponsorship Director Amina Fassi Fehri, Production Director Ali Diouri, Communications Director Laila Sebbane and several other festival workers including Nicolas Guillou, Fabrice Villain, Hicham Ait Mbarak and Mary Finnigan.