Actors, performers back striking CSO musicians

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With the strike entering its ninth day — and with no breakthrough in sight — members of the city’s arts community rallied with Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians Tuesday.

“Without your work, this building has no function — no function whatsoever,” said Dev Kennedy, central regional vice president of Actors’ Equity, gesturing to Orchestra Hall behind him. “Without your effort, no one wants to come see an empty stage. You’re doing the right thing!”

John Ward, Midwest counsel for the American Guild of Musical Artists, compared the CSO to the championship-winning Chicago Bulls of the Michael Jordan era.

“Like the world champion Chicago Bulls, it wasn’t management that made the Chicago Symphony Orchestra what it is today. No, it was these people,” Ward said.

Negotiation sessions Friday and Saturday did not lead to a contract between the Chicago Federation of Musicians and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. CSOA President Jeff Alexander said no date has been set for the next session.

CSO concerts have been canceled through Monday, March 25.


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