MUSIC

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A tentative contract agreement was reached between the Chicago Symphony orchestra and its union musicians, averting a threatened strike and paving the way for the new season. The three-year agreement was reached late last week, hours after members of the Chicago Federation of Musicians Local 10-208 had authorized a strike. The "contract has certainly made steps forward for the musicians, and management has several concessions," local president Charles Guse said without elaboration. The pact, which will replace the contract that expired Sept. 16, was approved by the local's full membership Saturday. Music director Sir Georg Solti will conduct the symphony for the first three weeks of the season, which started Thursday before a sold-out house.

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