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


Articles, Orchestra News

Sphinx Program to Empower Arts Leadership

Empowered by a $1.5 million grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization is launching a new initiative, Sphinx LEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity), to inspire and cultivate minority arts leaders.

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Reports Balanced Budget

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra reported ending its 2017-2018 year in the black, with a surplus of $153,000. Attracting younger audiences has been a big focus for the orchestra in the past few years, offering school and college students free tickets since 2016.

San Francisco Symphony Sees Raises in New Contract

In mid-November, musicians of the San Francisco Symphony approved a new four-year CBA ahead of schedule. The contract maintains the symphony’s position as one of the top paid orchestras in the US.

Baltimore Symphony Musicians Fight for Their Orchestra

Although Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) management made noises about early negotiations during the 2017-2018 season, they chose instead to invite the musicians, members of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD), to participate in a strategic planning process.

NY Phil/Shanghai Symphony Extend Partnership

The New York Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will extend their partnership—known as the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership—for four years, through the summer of 2022.

Pittsburgh Symphony Honors Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting Victims

On November 27, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), members of Local 60-471 (Pittsburgh, PA), performed “A Concert for Peace and Unity” in honor of the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

Chicago Symphony Announces Strong Ticket Sales

At its annual meeting in October, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced an increase in ticket revenue for the 2017-2018 season. At $23.3 million, sales were $1.1 million higher than the previous season. CSO boasted an 86% subscription renewal rate for its main series—a high rate within the industry.

Washington National Opera and Kennedy Center Musicians Sign New Contract

In late September, musicians of the Washington National Opera and Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestras ratified three-year agreements retroactive to September 1, 2018.

Musicians of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Ratify First Union Contract

Musicians of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) voted overwhelmingly to ratify an agreement negotiated by a dedicated orchestra committee, represented by Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) and VSO management.

New Mexico Philharmonic Ratifies Five-Year Deal

Musicians of the New Mexico Philharmonic, members of Local 618 (Albuquerque, NM), ratified a new five-year master agreement, effective 2017-2022. This agreement, the third CBA bargained for the organization created in 2011, was reached after 18 months of bargaining, two of which involved federal mediation.