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

Cleveland Orchestra Receives Raises in New Agreement

On December 23, 2018, the Musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra ratified a new three-year contract, effective through the 2020-2021 season.

Met Orchestra Announces Details of New Contract

Details of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s three-year contract, ratified September 2018, have been released. The agreement, retroactive to August 1, 2018 and continuing through July 31, 2021, will provide an 8.2% salary increase over three years, a substantial increase in the musicians’ pension plan, and a mid-season break in February to allow for rest.

Richmond Symphony Ratifies Four-Year Contract

In December, Richmond Symphony announced the ratification of a new four-year musicians’ contract, which will run through August 23, 2022.

League of American Orchestras Launches EDI Catalyst Fund

The Catalyst Fund will address the fact that enduring change requires orchestras to confront their beliefs, behaviors, and practices—their cultures.

BSO Musicians Host Community Event as Contract Struggles Continue

On January 8, brass players from the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony and Opera Orchestras, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as musicians from Canadian Brass and Semper Fi, joined their brother and sister brass and percussion players from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to perform a free concert that was open to the public.

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.