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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Back On Stage After 55-Day Strike

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- After a 55-day musician's strike, the music of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is finally back at Heinz Hall.

To celebrate their return, the PSO held a free concert Friday night, which was packed.

Conductor Manfred Honeck began by thanking the crowd and declaring music was back.

"We thank you for your loyalty, your commitment to this institution and your unwavering support," said Honeck.

When symphony members entered the stage, the crowd jumped to their feet for a standing ovation.

Symphony fans such as Susan Hayden, from Aliquippa, say they've been waiting for this.

"Oh, I certainly missed them," said Hayden. "We're usually here Sunday afternoon, so we've missed three concerts. So we're so excited to be back with them."

Doug Bauman, from Murrysville, was also excited the strike is now over.

"Some of the soloists that they bring in, we missed a few of them," he said. "It would have been nice to have seen them, but it's great that they're back, that's the most important thing."

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Orchestra members went on strike because management wanted to freeze pensions and cut pay by 15 percent.

In the end, the pay cut is about half that, but it would have been greater if not for an anonymous donor who stepped in.

Both management and musicians are glad to have reached a deal.

"Finally, we can get back on stage," said percussionist Jeremy Branson. "We can get back to our community that supported us so well during this entire time."

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