BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and orchestra musicians have reached a one-year agreement and the 2019-2020 concert season officially starts this weekend.

The musicians wanted to be onstage inspiring audiences, and that’s exactly where they’ll be Friday night for the first time in months.

“Knowing that we have gone through this, and have come to the agreement with the most special people in this house, gives us great courage to go forward together,” a BSO musician said.

For the next year, musicians will receive a 2.4 percent increase in their weekly compensation and bonus compensation during non-performance weeks.

Base annual salary for FY20 for 52 weeks would have been $84,696.04, however, due to the work stoppage, the base annual salary for 50 weeks is $81,438.50, and musicians will get four weeks paid vacation and time off over the summer.

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The BSO has also committed to forming what they’re calling a vision committee.

“One of the most important aspects of the agreement is the commitment to increasing the involvement (of) our musicians in planning for the future, in our programming, in our fundraising and in working together to move forward,” BSO president Peter Kjome said.

Since May, BSO musicians have been off the job and began a lockout when the orchestra announced it was canceling its summer season and no longer paying its musicians as of June.

“It’s the difficult times that enable you to grow, not the easy times and if that’s the measure then I think we’ve grown tremendously,” said conductor Marin Alsop.

The BSO said it will be critical to fill every seat for every performance to continue on this path. It hopes this initial contract will lead to a multi-year contract when they renegotiate next September.

Rachel Menitoff

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