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KSO, musicians reach agreement, performances to resume in February

Word of an agreement was released Monday.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra is expected to go back to work in February under a new agreement between management and the professional union.

Musicians and most of the symphony's administrative staff were furloughed in August amid the pandemic, and concerts were canceled though January.

Concerns about COVID-19 have essentially wiped out the ability of musicians, actors and other performers to appear in person. The Clarence Brown Theatre, for example, has scrubbed its live performances through the spring.

 There've been some virtual concerts to offer alternative entertainment.    

The symphony and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 546 announced the agreement Monday.

"The agreement covers the remainder of the 2020-21 season with the musicians returning to work on Feb. 1, 2021," the announcement states. "It offers flexibility to the musicians and to the KSO as the organization continues to navigate the ongoing pandemic and its effects on the Symphony’s ability to safely serve the East Tennessee community. Specific plans for performances are expected to be announced in January."

According to the announcement, the musicians will be at work through the end of the season -- May 23, 2021. They'll get 80 percent of their weekly pay beginning Jan. 4, 2021.

The KSO is adjusting upcoming programing to account for health guidelines set as a result of pandemic.

"The KSO plans to stream programming so that audiences can enjoy the sounds of their talented orchestra from the comfort and safety of their homes," the announcement reads.

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