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

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 […]

Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra Signs New Contract

Members of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera have reached an agreement on a two-year contract. Covering the current and 2015-2016 seasons, the contract will provide a total salary increase of 2% while maintaining the number of musicians and season length. Subscriptions sales for the 2014-2015 season are the highest they have been in six years […]

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Locked Out Again

Musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra locked out for the second time in two years and the beginning of their 70th anniversary season has been canceled. The previous contract expired September 6. ASO President and CEO Stanley Romanstein refused musicians’ requests to meet in the days leading up to the deadline.The musicians were forced to […]

Local 180 Creates Organizing Committee Along with New Logo and Slogan

At the 99th AFM Convention locals were urged to establish their own organizing committees. As the result of that request, Local 180 (Ottawa-Gatineau, ON) set to work creating a committee to foster external and internal organizing efforts—in other words, to develop programs that focus on mobilizing current membership. “In September 2013, we created a Local […]

Hawaii Symphony Expands Season in New Agreement

The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra (HSO), which was formed following the closure of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra in 2011, has ratified a new two-year musicians’ contract. The new agreement covers the orchestra’s 84 musicians through June 2016 and provides for two additional weeks each season. HSO plans to expand the diversity of its programming and develop […]