The fight against the Südwestrundfunk’s plans to merge the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg (SO) with the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR (RSO) did not abate following the publication of the composers’ and conductors’ open letters last year – rather, the protest has intensified and spread.

The organisation “Friends and Supporters of the SWR-SO” has made an appeal to Winfried Kretschmann, the minister president of Baden-Württemberg, asking him to take active steps towards preserving the existence of the SO, and this appeal has already been signed by more than 20.000 citizens of the German ‘Bundesland’. Politicians are also starting to finally take notice of this important problem: last weekend, a non-partisan declaration against the SWR merger was made public, signed by 40 members of the federal (Bundestag) as well as the provincial parliaments (baden-württembergischer Landtag).

But the fight is not confined to Germany’s borders: there have been numerous international protests against the SWR’s merger plans. The composer Franck Bedrossian has started a petition, aimed at all culturally engaged people worldwide, demanding that the SWR take back its merger decision. Unfortunately, this petition has not yet garnered the attention it deserves. This is why many composers and conductors are urging you: please, if you have not yet done so, sign the international petition to save the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, and forward this email or copy the following link and send it to your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. This is a matter of great urgency and importance. Every signature counts!

Here is the link to the petition, which can be signed right away: