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Lawrence Leighton Smith led the festival for 17 years.

 

He stepped down judt before the 2011 festival, when diagnosed with Binswanger's Disease, a form of dementia.

 

Leighton Smith  also led the Oregon Symphony in Portland from 1973 to 1980.  He was the Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony in the early 2000's.

 

Smtih was 77 and died at his home in Colorado Springs.

 

He had suffered a heart attack earlier this month and had been in hospice care.

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