Letter from Lillian and Walter Dean

Dear DSO Board Members:

As season ticket holders of over thirty years’ standing and donors to the DSO for most of that time, we are writing to express our profound disappointment with the present impasse between the Board and the DSO musicians.

While everyone admits the need for changes in response to present economic conditions, the Board’s intransigence in refusing to negotiate in any meaningful way, or to respond in any constructive manner, to the musicians’ willingness to make concessions – while at the same time insisting on maintaining the high salaries of DSO upper management – is absolutely indefensible.  Even more distressing is the apparent inability of the Board or of DSO management to articulate any sort of positive vision for the future of the Orchestra, or to organize any effective campaign to generate community support.  You, the members of the Board, were chosen to fulfill a public trust to maintain, one of Detroit’s cultural treasures, not to destroy it, and the music lovers of Detroit look to you to start taking this trust seriously, or resign to make way for someone who will.

The two sides are now not far apart, and it should be possible to negotiate in good faith to bring them them rest of the way. We call upon Board members who are truly committed to preserving classical music in Detroit, to repudiate the positions taken by the DSO upper management and to direct them to begin meaningful negotiations so that a contract can be agreed upon before it is too late.  It is time for you to remember what you are there to do, and to do it, or be remembered as the Board that systematically organized and carried out the destruction of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Yours for classical music in Detroit,

Lillian F. Dean
Walter K. Dean


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  • Phil Clampitt

    Wonderful letter! It says what needs to be said with an economy of words.

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