Yannick Nézet-Séguin joins calls for cabinet-level arts-and-culture secretary

Posted on: January 21, 2021

“Philadelphia Orchestra music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is urging the incoming presidential administration to take immediate action to help save a U.S. arts sector battered by the pandemic,” writes Peter Dobrin in Wednesday’s (1/20) Philadelphia Inquirer. “ ‘Artists need financial support to continue to create; the arts institutions of America need it to survive,’ writes the conductor in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. ‘While the vaccine is now here, and we can finally start to see the end of the pandemic, the financial implications will last for years without meaningful government intervention.’ He urges them to consider appointing a cabinet-level champion dedicated to arts and culture—an idea proposed by others that has gathered steam…. The letter was posted Tuesday on social media, and will be sent directly to Biden and Harris, an orchestra spokesperson said. Nézet-Séguin … says that although he is a Canadian citizen, as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera, ‘two of the country’s greatest cultural institutions, I am a proud artistic citizen of the United States of America…. I urge your administration to prioritize the arts for the benefit of this country, for all Americans.’ ”