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CSO Piccolo Jennifer Gunn is the soloist in Ken Benshoof’s “Concerto in Three Movements” with Music Director Riccardo Muti and the CSO. (© Todd Rosenberg)

The unlikely combination of Vivaldi, Beethoven and Gershwin with two contemporary works was full of delightful surprises and unexpected revelations. 

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Hilary Hahn is soloist in Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with conductor Marin Alsop and the CSO. (© Todd Rosenberg)

Hilary Hahn’s bravura handling of a fire-breathing passage in Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D Minor” brings forth a “Wow!” from what was certainly an adult man in the audience at Symphony Center.

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Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti on the podium during the CSO’s May 9 program of works by Mozart and Stravinsky. (Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg)

A concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring the transcendent Mitsuko Uchida. A visit by Maestro Riccardo Muti and several master musicians to a juvenile detention center. And a virtuosic chamber concert.

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Music Director Riccardo Muti leads the CSO in Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.” (Photo © Todd Rosenberg)

At the Symphony Center, a palpable sense of relief and joy as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra marked its return to the stage after a bruising seven-week strike.

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Violinist Itzhak Perlman, left, and pianist Evgeny Kissin. (Credit: Lisa Marie Mazzucco, left, Bette Marshall)

How do you bring the music back to the stage of Symphony Center in the wake of an agonizing seven-week strike by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra? With two of the world’s most formidable virtuosos.

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Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra go on strike and walk the picket line outside the doors of Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue, Monday, March 11, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The Chicago Federation of Musicians says the five-year deal includes a 13.2% increase in salary and protects retirement benefits. The union says musicians unanimously supported it Saturday.

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Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra go on strike and walk the picket line outside the doors of Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue, Monday, March 11, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement that Chicago Symphony Orchestra management and striking musicians “have reached an agreement in principle to bring the music back to the symphony center.”

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Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra go on strike and walk the picket line outside the doors of Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue, Monday, March 11, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Both striking musicians and management of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have welcomed an offer by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to help end a nearly two-month work stoppage over pensions and wages.

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Conductor Riccardo Muti joins striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians Tuesday, March 12, 2019 outside Symphony Center. (Eddie Arruza / WTTW News)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra may cancel more concerts after striking musicians rejected what it calls its last, best and final offer on a new contract.

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Conductor Riccardo Muti joins striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians Tuesday, March 12, 2019 outside Symphony Center. (Eddie Arruza / WTTW News)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra said in a Wednesday statement that it and the Chicago Federation of Musicians have “mutually agreed” to continue negotiations Friday. 

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Conductor Riccardo Muti joins striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians Tuesday, March 12, 2019 outside Symphony Center. (Eddie Arruza / WTTW News)

Instead of being in rehearsal Tuesday morning with their superstar conductor Riccardo Muti, most of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 106 musicians joined forces with him on the sidewalk outside the concert hall.

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Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra go on strike and walk the picket line outside the doors of Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue, Monday, March 11, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

While saying their negotiations have been “respectful and cordial,” the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and their management dug in Monday in what could be a prolonged strike. 

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Music Director Riccardo Muti leads the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the Orchestra’s first performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer William Schuman’s “Symphony No. 9” (Le fosse Ardeatine) in a year that marks the 75th anniversary of this World War II tragedy in Italy. (Photo Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

The CSO’s current program features two radically different pieces: American composer William Schuman’s haunting “Symphony No. 9” and Mozart’s glorious “Requiem in D Minor.”

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Music Director Riccardo Muti leads the CSO in Mozart’s “Symphony No. 36” on March 15, 2018. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg Photography)

A wide array of concerts designed “to explore (Ludwig van Beethoven’s) individuality, power and genius” highlight the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2019-2020 season.

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Soprano Vittoria Yeo, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, tenor Piotr Beczala and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy are soloists in Verdi’s Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus led by Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti. (© Todd Rosenberg)

Verdi’s monumental and altogether ravishing “Requiem” is a signature work of Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. In light of recent shootings, Thursday’s performance brought even greater potency and fire to this work.

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Daniel Barenboim speaks at a Chicago Symphony Orchestra press event on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

At an intimate press conference celebrating his return visit to the city, conductor Daniel Barenboim expressed his delight at what will be a two-part homecoming at Symphony Center.