Philip Glass

91 composers sent an open letter to the Minnesota Orchestra’s musicians, administrators, board and politicians, to call for an end of the longest labor dispute in U.S. orchestral history. Among the signatories are John Corigliano, Philip Glass, David Lang, Nico Muhly, Mark Adamo, Bright Sheng and Kevin Puts.

On of the reasons for this initiative was the cancellation of the 2013 Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute, an annual event that gives young composers a chance to work with the ensemble.

Here is the full text of this letter:

To the Honorable Mayor R.T. Rybak, City of Minneapolis; Honorable Mayor Chris Coleman, City of St. Paul; Gov. Mark Dayton; Michael Henson, President and Jon R. Campbell, Chair, Board of Directors, Minnesota Orchestra; Musicians, Administration and Board of Directors of the Minnesota Orchestra:

We, the alumni and concerned colleagues of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute wish to express—in the most urgent tone—a call for immediate resolution of the persistent lockout and subsequent cancellation of the 2012-2013 season of the Minnesota Orchestra. We feel it is incumbent upon all parties in this dispute: administration, musicians and board, to be responsible cultural stewards and break through the year-long logjam to return this great orchestra to its mission – to present music in performance to audiences in Minnesota and around the world, to continue to be eminent cultural leaders – enlivening the community with great music and the highest level of musical artistry, and continue its role enriching American culture through music and forward-reaching programs such as the Composer Institute.

We are deeply concerned about the future of the Orchestra and its Composer Institute program.

With this impasse, the 2012-13 Composer Institute was postponed. The Institute, currently in its 12th year is one of the only opportunities for emerging composers in the United States to work with a major American orchestra. The program has been a beacon in the field, and had substantially enriched the Minnesota Orchestra’s stature as a forward-thinking cultural institution. Maestro Osmo Vänskä and the entire orchestra and staff have brought this effort to an extraordinary level of quality and commitment. This amazing program, unique in the field, has benefited so many young composers and we fear that it may be in danger of disappearing.

As past participants, affiliated artists and music professionals, we can say with certainty that these experiences, be they the orchestral rehearsals and performances, collaborations with the musicians, Institute Director Aaron Jay Kernis and Maestro Vänskä, and the workshops with top-level professionals from the music field, have been an integral part of each participant’s professional development. The program has helped achieve new breakthroughs in musical careers, and has brought many new and original composers to the forefront of American culture.

Subsequently, we know—with certainty—that the cancellation of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute will have a lasting and negative impact on American music, and we urge you to act now to resolve the lockout and reinstate this essential training ground for the cultivation of talented composers.

The prestige and excellence of the Minnesota Orchestra brings the current crisis to national headlines, with music director Osmo Vänskä pledging to resign at the end of the summer if there is no resolution. Now is the time for Minneapolis, and Minnesota at large, to send the message that it cares deeply about its orchestra and its Music Director, with the fate of its cultural and national identity hanging in the balance.

Please bring the orchestra back to the concert hall.



Mark Adamo New York, NY

Kati Agócs Boston, MA

J. Anthony Allen Minneapolis, MN

Carol Barnett Minneapolis, MN

Gordon Beeferman New York, NY

Derek Bermel Brooklyn, NY

Lisa Bielawa New York, NY

Eugene Birman Cambridge, UK

Dan Bradshaw Honolulu, HI

Keith Bradshaw Charlottesville, VA

Martin Bresnick New Haven, CT

Fernando Buide A Coruña, Spain

Patrick Burke Pittsburgh, PA

Garrett Byrnes Washington, DC

Deirdre Chadwick New York, NY

Anthony Cheung New York, NY

Jacob Cooper Brooklyn, NY

John Corigliano New York, NY

Andreia Pinto Correia Boston, MA

James Crowley Milwaukee, WI

Chaya Czernowin Boston, MA

Kurt Erickson Napa, CA

Man Fang Irmo, SC

Matthew Fields Ann Arbor, MI

Erica Foin Portland, OR

Stacy Garrop Evanston, IL

Michael Gatonska Hartford, CT

Anthony Gatto New York, NY

Michael Geller New York, NY

Philip Glass New York, NY

Stephen Gorbos Washington, DC

Geoffrey Gordon New York, NY

Stephen Hartke Glendale, CA

Ted Hearne Brooklyn, NY

Bill Holab New York, NY

Michael Holloway New Haven, CT

Gregory Hutter Chicago, IL

Texu Kim Bloomington, IN

Michael Klingbeil New Haven, CT

Adrian Knight New York, NY

Geoff Knorr Towson, MD

Angel Lam New York, NY

David Lang New York, NY

Hannah Lash New Haven, CT

Mei-Fang Lin Lubbock, TX

Loren Loiacono Ithaca, NY

Ed Martin Neenah, WI

Elliott Miles McKinley Knoxville, TN

Andrew McManus Chicago, IL

Justin Merritt Northfield, MN

Nico Muhly New York, NY

Keith Murphy Chicago, IL

Polina Nazaykinskaya New Haven, CT

Brian Nelson Lawrence, KS

Paul Paccione Macomb, IL

Robert Paterson New York, NY

Matthew Peterson Stockholm, Sweden

Ben Phelps Los Angeles, CA

Russell Platt New York, NY

Narong Prangcharoen Kansas City, MO

Richard Pressley Charleston, SC

Kevin Puts Baltimore, MD

Alejandro Rutty Greensboro, NC

Kathryn Salfelder Boston, MA

Michael Schachter Ann Arbor, MI

Carl Schimmel Grinnell, IA

David Schober Forest Hills, NY

David Schneider Charlotte, NC

Sheridan Seyfried Philadelphia, PA

Bright Sheng Ann Arbor, MI

Paul Siskind Norwood, NY

Rob Smith Houston, TX

Erich Stem Louisville, KY

Steven Stucky Philadelphia, PA

Reynold Tharp Champaign, IL

Christopher Theofanidis New Haven, CT

Augusta Read Thomas Chicago, IL

Spencer Topel (author) Hanover, NH

Joan Tower New York, NY

David Del Tredici New York, NY

George Tsontakis New York, NY

Michael Twomey San Antonio, TX

Janika Vandervelde Saint Paul, MN

Melinda Wagner Ridgewood, NJ

Wang Jie New York, NY

Lu Wang New York, NY

Stephen Wilcox Goleta, GA

Michael Wittgraf Grand Forks, ND

Gregg Wramage Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Ming-Hsiu Yen Taipei, Taiwan

Roger Zare Tallahassee, FL


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