Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Orchestra News

Memphis Symphony Orchestra Musicians Accept Pay Cut

In October, musicians of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra (MSO) accepted a 38% pay cut in order to allow the organization to regain its footing. The concession is for the current year only and will then be renegotiated. In addition to the wage cut, the orchestra’s season length will be reduced from 39 weeks to 24 […]

Dayton Philharmonic Signs New Contract

Members of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (Dayton Arts Alliance) have signed a new contract. Orchestra members voted in May 2014 for a three-year contract through August 2017. The agreement includes a 3% increase in wages for contracted members, a health benefit of $275 per season paid to each contracted member, and a small increase in […]

Minnesota Orchestra Hires Executive Director

The Minnesota Orchestra has announced the hiring of Kevin Smith as President and CEO. Smith was named interim executive director after the orchestra’s previous CEO, Michael Henson, stepped down in August, in the aftermath of the 16-month musician lockout. Previously, Smith was executive director of the Minnesota Opera. The board, overwhelmingly impressed with Smith’s work, […]

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Lockout Ends

After a two-month lockout, musicians and management of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) reached an agreement on a new four-year contract in early November. The contract, negotiated with the help of federal mediators, does not call for any pay cuts; in fact, wages will increase by 6% over the four years. Musicians will contribute more […]

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President Resigns; Lockout Continues: UPDATE

The lockout of the musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) continues, as the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC)—the umbrella organization for ASO—has canceled concerts through November 8. Musicians’ paychecks have come to a stop and their health insurance has been canceled. At the end of September, Stanley Romanstein resigned his position as ASO president and […]

Lexington Philharmonic has Ratified a New Contract

The Lexington Philharmonic has ratified a new contract, which will be in effect through June 2018. Negotiations began in April. The musicians’ previous contract expired at the end of June. The agreement provides for modest increases in both wages and mileage reimbursement. It also clarifies language regarding auditions, the musician peer review process, procedures for […]

Chicago Symphony Continues Record-Breaking Trend

For the fourth consecutive year, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra saw record-breaking ticket sales and fundraising in fiscal year 2014. Contributed revenue totaled $57 million and ticket sales totaled $22.4 million, with subscriptions accounting for half of sales. While the subscription percentage has dropped significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, when it was at 85% or […]

Nashville Symphony Orchestra to Receive Raises

Musicians and management of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO) have reached a four-year agreement. The new contract offers musicians 3% raises in the first two years; in each of the last two years wages will be open to renegotiation. This is a step forward, following the 15% pay cut musicians took last year when Schermerhorn […]

San Francisco Opera Orchestra Ratifies Contract

The musicians of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra have signed a four-year contract that will be in effect through July 2018. The agreement calls for a 14.8% cumulative increase in compensation over the life of the contract: an effective increase of 5% in the annual compensation guarantee in the first year—from $81,179 to $85,279.99—followed by […]

African Elephant Ivory Update

Our work on this issue continues. Working with the League of American Orchestras (the League), the National Association of Violin and Bow Makers, the National Association of Music Merchants, and others, our group continues to meet with top Obama Administration officials, members of Congress, and their staff to shape new policies while fighting against the […]