Composers call for end to Minnesota Orchestra lockout

Alumni and supporters of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute are calling for a quick resolution to the lockout of Minnesota Orchestra musicians.

In a letter addressed to both Twin Cities mayors, Gov. Mark Dayton and the heads of both parties in the contract dispute, they expressed concern for the future of the orchestra and the composer institute program.

With this impasse, the 2012-2013 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 Vanska 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.

The letter includes more than 90 signatures, including those of Philip Glass and David Lang.

Minnesota Orchestra management locked out the musicians on Oct. 1 and the sides are now deadlocked. They face an early September deadline set by conductor Vanska, who says he’ll resign if there is no resolution by then.