On April 27, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra reached agreement on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, ending a musicians strike that had begun on March 10. At issue were salary and pensions, and agreement was reached when, following lengthy negotiations, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stepped in to convene a daylong series of mediated meetings in late April. The new agreement, effective retroactively from September 2018 through September 2023, includes salary increases of 2 percent in the first two years of the contract, 2.5 percent the third year, 3.25 percent the fourth year, and 3.5 percent the fifth year. The musicians’ pension plan will undergo a phased transition from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan beginning July 1, 2020. All new hires as of July 1, 2020 will go directly into the defined contribution plan. The orchestra’s first performance back at Chicago’s Symphony Center on May 2 started with the “Star Spangled Banner” and featured Bizet’s rarely performed Roma, Berlioz’s The Death of Cleopatra with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and Respighi’s Pines of Rome, led by Music Director Riccardo Muti.