Ellison's letter said in part: "I am writing to respectfully urge you to end the 11-month lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and accept the interim agreement proposed by [Mitchell]."
Ellison said both management and musicians have legitimate concerns about the future of the orchestra, "which is why a neutral mediator with the skill of Senator Mitchell is so critical to this process."
Music director Osmo Vanska has said he will resign if he cannot get the orchestra back on stage by Sept. 30, in order to prepare for concerts at Carnegie Hall in November. He considers those concerts a key part of his tenure with the orchestra. Management has said for that to happen, it would need an agreement by Sunday. Musicians favor the Mitchell plan, which would end the lockout for four months while both sides negotiate.