Grant Park Music Fest, musicians reach agreement; show will go on

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The Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus | PHOTO BY CASSY GERBER

The show will go on.

Less than two hours after announcing that Wednesday’s opening night concert of the Grant Park Music Festival was canceled due to a musicians strike, the festival announced a tentative agreement had been reached and that opening night will indeed go on at 6:30 p.m. at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, as scheduled.

The Grant Park Orchestral Association and the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208, reached a tentative settlement for a three-year collective bargaining agreement, according to the official statement issued just after 8 p.m. The previous collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight on May 31.

“The Musicians of the Grant Park Orchestra are pleased to have reached an agreement on a new contract, which will allow us to continue our long tradition of presenting the finest orchestral performances in this unique setting,” said Gary Matts, president of Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208, in the statement.

Earlier in the evening, things looked grim as news broke of the cancellation of Wednesday night’s concert with a program headed by conductor Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra, featuring Andrew von Oeyen and Fabio Bidini in Poulenc’s jazzy Concerto for Two Pianos, followed by Mussorgsky’s popular orchestral showcase.

The Grant Park Music Festival is the only free, summer-long outdoor classical music series of its kind in the country. The fest is scheduled to run June 15 – August 20. Information on the summer season for the GPMF can be found here.

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