Entertainment & Arts

Chicago Symphony reaches tentative agreement to end strike

Chicago Symphony reaches tentative agreement to end strike
Riccard Muti conducts at the opening night of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2011.
(Brent Lewis / Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra said late Monday that it has reached a tentative agreement with the union representing its musicians. The agreement would end a strike that began Saturday.

Orchestra leaders said that ratification of the new contract is pending by both parties -- the Chicago Federation of Musicians and the orchestra’s board of trustees. The agreement would be for a three-year contract and would take effect retroactively Sept. 17.

The orchestra said that all previously scheduled performances are proceeding as planned. A concert on Saturday was abruptly canceled when negotiations between management and the union fell through.

The strike came as a surprise to many in the classical music field. The Chicago Symphony, one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, had been locked in negotiations with its musicians over wages and contributions to healthcare costs.


On Saturday, representatives of the union rejected the orchestra’s proposal for a three-year contract. The orchestra said at the time that its last offer would have made its members “among the best-compensated in a U.S. orchestra." 

Music Director Riccardo Muti is scheduled to lead a concert Wednesday night. The orchestra plans to travel this fall to New York and Mexico. 


Striking musicians walk out on Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Riccardo Muti brings Chicago Symphony Orchestra to California 

Detroit Symphony musicians officially vote to end strike, accept steep pay cuts 



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