An international petition was issued tonight via US academic networks.
Please find below the text of a petition that conductor François-Xavier Roth, composer George Lewis, and composer Franck Bedrossian have decided to send tomembers of the international musical community.
As some of you may know, due to alleged economic reasons, the SWR (Südwestrundfunk) board members plan to fuse both SWR orchestras, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR (RSO) and the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg (SO), despite a large outpouring of protest in Germany and abroad, including major composers and interpreters of new music as well as politicians. Despite a 28,000-name petition compiled in 2012, and two new petitions signed by 160 renowned conductors and 148 composers, plans for a merger continue. We strongly believe that this protest needs to be expanded internationally to prevent a cultural tragedy.
The decision to fuse the two outstanding orchestras, which have developed contrasting artistic profiles over the course of decades, is not only damaging to German musical life, but concerns all new and classical music lovers internationally. This is why we are requesting your support, via the attached petition. If you wish to sign, please send your name and professional affiliation to be added to the list, which will be sent to the SWR board and the press. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose.
“We, the undersigned composers, performers, professors, students, listeners, and cultural partners from around the world are writing to express our deep concern upon learning of the possible fusion of the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR (RSO) with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg. The SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg is highly appreciated at the international level for its unwavering commitment to the emerging music of our time.
The SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg stands as a positive symbol for those of us who support the most innovative and progressive ideas emerging from the orchestral tradition. From its birth, the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg has been a champion of musical creativity, and it continues today to celebrate and encourage the imagination of living composers. Many symphonic works that made music history and now belong to the repertoire performed around the world were written for and premiered by this orchestra. Its influence has touched all of us and many more, far beyond the borders of Germany, and stands as a point of reference and a promise for those who support new music globally.
To halt the activity of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg will severely threaten the classical and modern repertoire, and will negatively impact its musical admirers across the globe. To dismantle this orchestra is to turn one’s back on the humanist values of the symphonic tradition, disheartening audiences around the world who believe that an orchestra has the possibility to remain a vital and relevant part of our collective culture and include the public in new expressive experiences.
For all of these reasons, we urge you to reconsider this decision.”
For more information, or if you do not wish to received further messages, please reply to Aaron Einbond at email@example.com.