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Striking CSO musicians offering free concerts

Striking musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra received a "last, best and final offer" from management over the weekend. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians announced Wednesday a series of free concerts.

The musicians, who have been on strike since March 11, are calling the series, “From the Heart of the Orchestra.” Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, organizers say.

The first concert is at 8 p.m. Friday at PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan Ave., second floor. The small chamber concert will feature works by Mozart, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn. For more information, go to www.eventbrite.com.

The second concert is 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the CTU Hall, 1901 W. Carroll Ave. The concert, featuring the full CSO, will include selections from Beethoven and Mozart. For more information, go to www.eventbrite.com.

The musicians, members of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, say they are planning more concerts at “various venues throughout Chicago and the near suburbs.”

The musicians say management’s proposed salary increases are “inadequate.” The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association also wants to replace musicians’ traditional pension plan with a defined contribution plan.

Scheduled orchestra performances have been canceled through Monday.

MORE ABOUT THE CSO STRIKE

Actors, performers back striking CSO musicians

Riccardo Muti joins CSO musicians on the picket lines

Striking CSO musicians picket in front of Orchestra Hall over contract dispute