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

Metropolitan Opera Reaches Tentative Agreement

Musicians and management of The Metropolitan Opera reached a tentative agreement the morning of August 18 after an all-night bargaining session, avoiding a lockout threatened by opera management. Federal mediators stepped in late in July. In August, Eugene Kelin, co-founder of KPS Capital Partners, was brought in to conduct an independent financial analysis. A tentative […]

Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra Reaches Agreement

In late May, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra (CSPO) musicians and board ratified a new five-year contract. The agreement follows a tumultuous year during which a proposed tentative agreement was rejected in October 2013. The negotiation process involved two committees, two negotiators, and two federal mediators. Major sticking points included attendance policies, service guarantees, travel pay, per service […]

Florida Orchestra Appoints New Music Director

The Florida Orchestra (TFO) has announced the appointment of Michael Francis as its new music director with a three-year contract beginning in the 2015-2016 season. Francis will serve as music director designate during the 2014-2015 season, conducting two masterworks programs. Although his primary role is with the Masterworks series, he will also conduct one Raymond […]

Hawaii Symphony Orchestra Extends Contract to 2016

The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and Musicians’ Association of Hawaii, Local 677 (Honolulu, HI), are pleased to announce a new two-year agreement that will run through June 2016. It includes a minimum 14-weeks of employment each year, adding two additional weeks to accommodate more diverse programming and outreach.  HSO’s 2014-2015 season will celebrate the 50th anniversary […]

Performance of “Ring” Cycle Set to Digital Music Postponed

  Performance of “Ring” Cycle Set to Digital Music Postponed A planned Hartford, Connecticut performance of Richard Wagner’s “Das Rheingold,” utilizing digitally-sampled sounds in lieu of a live orchestra, was postponed after several artists withdrew, some citing artistic reservations about the project. Singers, musicians, and fans objected to the idea of using sampled instruments in […]

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Marks Three Years of Subscription Growth

  Detroit Symphony Orchestra Marks Three Years of Subscription Growth Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) saw a third straight year of subscription growth in the 2013-2014 season. The number of subscriptions sold rose across DSO’s five product lines—classical, pops, jazz, family, and neighborhood—and have climbed 24.7% since the 2011-2012 season. The DSO saw strong overall attendance […]

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Receives Record-Setting Gifts

  Chicago Symphony Orchestra Receives Record-Setting Gifts In early June, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) received two gifts totaling $32 million—the largest in the orchestra’s 123-year history. The Zell Family Foundation made a $17 million gift to CSO’s endowment and general operating funds. The gift will be used to underwrite, in perpetuity, the position of music […]

Pittsburgh Symphony Plans Concerts in Canada and North Carolina

  Pittsburgh Symphony Plans Concerts in Canada and North Carolina Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) will perform two concerts as part of the Lanaudière Festival, which takes place near Montreal, in July 2015. The trip will mark PSO’s third appearance at the festival; it most recently performed there in 2012. The orchestra had previously announced that […]

Omaha Symphony Ratifies Five-Year Contract

The Omaha Symphony announced a new five-year contract in mid-May, providing modest salary increases for musicians each year, as well as a 1% signing bonus in the first year of the contract. Altogether, base salaries will rise from $31,901 in first year to $35,024 in final year. The orchestra will also contribute $150 more toward […]

Alabama Symphony Orchestra Agrees to New Contract

Musicians and management of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (ASO) have reached an agreement that will increase base salaries by 4.8% total over three years. This contract confirms that the orchestra has fully recovered from its bankruptcy in the mid-1990s and also the financial challenges faced during the recession.  Jeff Solomon, president of Local 256-733 (Birmingham, […]