Chicago cancels Mutter recital

But it’s just her, a pianist and a cellist?

No matter. The orchestra’s on strike. Symphony Hall is shut.

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violinist–CANCELLED
Lambert Orkis, pianist
Daniel Müller-Schott, cellist
Mozart: Violin Sonata in E Minor, K. 304
Ravel: Violin Sonata
Currier: Ghost Trio
Beethoven: Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 (Ghost)
Poulenc: Violin Sonata
3 p.m. Symphony Center


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      • No, what’s likely is that the CSO canceled the performance because as explained in a later comment, Mr. Orkis is an AFM member and would rightly refuse to cross an AFM picket line. Also probably true is that union stagehands would not cross the musicians’ picket line (as it should be), and if there are no hall staff, there’s no event, even if crossing the picket line were not an issue for any of the performers.

        • Apparently they cancel any performance of others in their hall, regardless of union memberships or not, as evidenced by the foreign musicians and ensembles visiting these weeks.

  • It has been many years since I let my 10-208 membership lapse (American Federation of Musicians, Chicago chapter), but back in the day people from other unions would not cross a 10-208 picket line. I’d guess that continues.

  • Recall that during the Minnesota Orchestra lockout, no union groups would play in Orchestra Hall. So not exactly without precedent.

    The CSO runs the major visiting orchestra and recital series at Symphony Center, so it’s understandable that the strike might affect every presentation of the CSO. I assume other recitals/concerts will also be affected?

  • Any soloist who dares cross a picket line won’t have a very long career.

    Can you imagine? The next time the soloist appears with the orchestra, the orchestra would tune 1/4 step above the soloist, lol.

  • Some of these players make more than the average blue collar worker. And they are upset over their pension plans being cut or underfunded? Well guess what? There are many industries across the board in this country that have seen similar cuts to their employee pensions including airline employees. Teachers in this country change jobs everyday and leave their profession because they are underpaid. Look at the GM plant that just closed? I’m sure they would love to have a job that paid an average of $100000 plus to support their families even if they did take a cut to their pension. The fact is most cities can do without an orchestra. It might be a hit culturally but it’s not a necessity. Go try to teach public school instead of being greedy overrated musicians.

    • Absolutely right. Top-level musicians should be paid the same as average blue-collar workers. Doctors too. And athletes. Dentists. Movie stars should be paid the same as average blue-collar workers. Tim Cook should be paid the same as average blue-collar workers. And he should be happy about it. Everyone should be paid the same as average blue-collar workers. Everyone should be happy about it.

      • When there are plenty of equally qualified people who would do their job for 1/3 the pay, yes they should cut the pay–it’s in the financial interests of the health of the organization. Musicians are a dime a dozen. Just look how many conservatories are churning out every year.

        • Same could be said about MBA students, churned out by the hundreds of thousands every year, who would do the jobs of board members and CEOs of any DowJones company for 1/100 of the pay.

          But thankfully you are wrong. There is more to building an excellent orchestra with a character and a legacy, than just hiring and firing players on a free market at will.

          This neoliberal virus hat befallen too many brains. The Temple of Mammon has too many followers.

    • I don’t know about the musicians, but I do believe that conductors are grossly overpaid. So are orchestra Administrators. If the plan is to create balanced budgets, please start at the top.

    • “Go try to teach public school instead of being greedy overrated musicians.”

      …And then watch as Joe and his ilk go to war on public school teachers when they start negotiating for more money. “BMWs and gated communities” has been a catch phrase for teachers just like “lobster and filet mignon” for food-assistance recipients.

      I once (when I was young and foolish) I engaged in an online discussion, if you can call it one, about if teachers were currently overpaid, then what was a fair salary? (We were talking about the city where we both lived, so it wasn’t a vague “depends if it’s Sioux Falls or San Francisco” conversation.) After much backing & forthing about it being a part-time job and driving BMWs and living in gated communities, the person finally acknowledged that he had no thoughts about what teachers should be paid, he just thought that whatever their salary was, it was too high.

      A few years before that, when my orchestra went on strike (don’t worry — we lost), the management at the time tried to turn public opinion against the musicians by making public the information that our base salary was $17,000. (This was true.) It worked. Many people — not all, but enough to make a lot of noise — were outraged that symphony musicians were being paid such an exorbitant amount.

  • Did they try to produce the concert at another venue rather than close it down?

    Seems like they could take a page out of the players playbook and broadcast the concert as a PR event thanking all the donors and high roller supporters of the CSO.

  • The decline of DB pensions is true—a major tragedy for retiring workers, and a gain for the financial elites and the financial industries, who shift investment risk to individuals with no power, or skill in investing, and get more fees for the investment industry. Part of the greed grab since 1980. Sad. More power to any workers who can and do fight this shift from DB to less economically rational DC pensions, like the CSO musicians.

  • Why not giving free pop up performances like Philly musicians did?


    P.S. 1 Nothing alienates subscribers more than prolonged strike.

    P.S. 2 Yannick and Philly played Manfred Symphony last Saturday. Mind-blowing epic performance — nothing on my CDs nor past attendances came close to match. And Philly did it at a much lower cost than Chicago. 🙂

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