Just in: Full Chicago Symphony will play tonight

Just in: Full Chicago Symphony will play tonight


norman lebrecht

April 15, 2019

Striking musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will play in full strength tonight at the Apostolic Church of God in South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

Concert starts at 7,30.
Rossini, Overture to the Barber of Seville;
Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 5 In A Major, K. 219;
Brahms, Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98.

The concert is free entry. No conductor has been named.



  • Karl says:

    Asking for a pay increase and then playing free concerts? Why should anyone pay them if they work for free? They need tougher negotiating tactics.

    • MacroV says:

      It’s not sustainable, but a goodwill gesture to the community. I assume they’ll have to get a conductor who doesn’t expect to get hired subsequently by the CSO. Unless Muti wants to show up to conduct. I assume Robert Chen is the soloist in the concerto?

      • Karl says:

        Have you never heard the saying “No good dead goes unpunished”? I learned a long time ago not to work without pay. No one appreciates it. People just start expecting you to do it all the time.

    • nimitta says:

      Why do you comment for free?

    • Bruce says:

      ^ LOL. No idea how this works.

    • M2N2K says:

      All those people who gave thumbs up to “Karl”‘s silly comment must have an overdeveloped sense of humor, because while it can’t possibly be serious, it nevertheless is not funny either – unfortunately.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Good luck!

    A standard program Orchestra Hall program with no Black composers played to a primarily Black audience on a Monday night with lots of working Mom’s in the demographic.

    Good planning!

    • Mkay says:

      I know, right.They did a concert with a black composer last year and it was fantastic. These musicians are doomed. Someone I know in the music industry tried to reach out and the musicians ignored her. She hangs back stage with Elton John and is friends with a lot of famous people in the industry and is so nice and wanted to pull together some kind of effort but got ignored. She runs successful music festivals too but got ignored. So be it, the musicians don’t want change, the board wants to go back to 1950’s. They are doomed.

  • Dave says:

    Jay Friedman, CSO principal trombone, will conduct the Orchestra tonight.

  • lori says:

    The legendary Chicago treasure Jay Friedman will of course conduct! Mr Friedman has been in the CSO since 1962 and was appointed principal trombone in 1965. A talented conductor, he leads the Orchestra of Oak Park and River Forest as well as frequently guest conducting various orchestras including Civic Orchestra of Chicago. His knowledge and expertise run deep and his energy puts us all to shame. He just celebrated his 80th birthday, though he could easily pass for 59.

    • Mkay says:

      So? These musicians are doomed They don’t want any outside help. A friend of mine who wanted to help got ignored. Yet, they post photos of famous people like Chicago, Robert Glasper and Jackson who didn’t return the favor and post on their social media. It was free publicity. My friend had Elton John on the line but couldn’t name drop until someone reached back. Got ignored. Dummies. I gotta go listen to some Robert Glasper now. See how that works.

    • Done says:

      Thank god he is conducting because his trombone playing has really deteriorated in recent years!

  • Don says:

    Free because no body would show up if they charged!

    • Karl says:

      They could put tip cups by the exits. I thought that’s what they should have done in Hartford after they had to take the 30% pay cut.

  • Steven Honigberg says:


  • Susan Lane says:

    Thinking of your courage and strength. Bravo to the great CSO musicians.

    Susan Lane

  • guest3 says:

    Do we know if the concert is being performed in solidarity to the situation in Paris or is it because of other reasons?

    • Mkay says:

      Um, People have been burning down Paris churches for a month or more now. When you molest that many kids you’re bound to enrage at least one.

  • Depressed says:


    Instead of building a culture and audiences all over America the money for the arts raised and spent in a shockingly few places.
    Regarding this work stoppage , I get super depressed.
    Orchestras, museums and other arts organizations are providing culture so as to make life worth living, not to make shareholders or business owners rich on the backs of their workforce.

    It makes me so sad because it would take such a long time to cultivate and generate new audiences all over America but it won’t/can’t happen if all of the monetary support is allocated/donated to only a few select groups.

    It’s a pity that Americans can’t trust the government or each other when it comes down to the arts.

  • Roger Rocco says:

    The strike is about maintaining the quality of one of the greatest orchestras in the world. They represent Chicago. Does anyone care? They should because the CSO is an organization of 100+ all stars. Would the city care about that many MJs? Does anyone remember the celebratory parade downtown in 1971 after they returned from their first triumphant European tour? At that time, the CSO negotiated a contract that allowed them to maintain their preeminent world class status which is now in serious jeopardy. Someone must intervene to preserve our great orchestra! If that doesn’t happen, many of the greatest musicians among them will leave and never be replaced. 128 years of greatness will be lost to mediocrity forever.

    • Karl says:

      I have pointed out before that the cost of living in Chicago is lower than it is in LA and NYC. That’s why it isn’t fair to compare salaries to orchestras in those cities. Here:
      “Overall, Los Angeles, California is 65.6% more expensive than Chicago, Illinois”

    • Mkay says:

      A friend of mine in the music industry tried reaching out but they ignored her. She could have gotten serious press for them but yep got ignored. The musicians don’t want help. It’s all phony. The one person who reached out they ignored and then you get the Band Chicago, Robert Glasper and Jesse Jackson show up but did those people post on their social media anything about the musicians? No. It’s phony. They ignore the real people who want to help and kiss the aßs of the famous people who simply show up for a photo op and free advertisement.
      Think I’ll go listen to some Robert Glasper.
      And no, the Robert, Chicago nor Jesse posted anything about the strike.

    • Bill says:

      They have the best salary, adjusted for the cost of living, of any orchestra in the world. What are they going to do instead, if SF or Boston or LA pays their players a kilobuck or two more? Yes, I can see that some at the end of their careers might retire, but that’s going to happen anyhow. There are other similarly great players the orchestra can recruit to replace those that might leave; no one in the CSO (or any other orchestra) is significantly better than everyone else.

  • Cyril says:

    The guest conductor is Jay Friedman and the soloist is Robert Chen.