Composer heavyweights wade into MN Orchestra lockout with open letter


On Thursday 91 composers sent an open letter to the Minnesota Orchestra’s musicians, administrators and board asking for resolution to a lockout that dates back to October.

The Arts Beat blog of the New York Times reports that composers including Martin Bresnick, John Corigliano, Derek Bermel, Stephen Hartke, Philip Glass, Steven Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, George Tsontakis, Nico Muhly and David Lang asked that all the parties in the dispute “be responsible cultural stewards and break through the year-long logjam” to start negotiations again.

The missive was also sent to the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, reports the Times.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune also reports that the orchestra will perform a free concert Sept. 15 at the Lake Harritet band shell.

The news comes of the open letter come as the latest dance to salvage anything between musicians and administrators after seeing the orchestra's season canceled, then a string of summer concerts was also shelved. The Times has been covering each step.

Here's a statement on the orchestra's web site. Monday that at least one more musician has left, maybe two, marking a grand total of 14.

Osmo Vanska, the orchestra’s highly regarded music director, wrote a letter to the board in April saying that if the dispute led the orchestra to scuttle is planned November visit to Carnegie Hall he would have to resign.

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