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 www.afm.org/join.

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Orchestra News

Cincinnati Ratifies One-Year MOU

In late August, the musicians of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra ratified a one-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that runs from September 13, 2020 and continues through September 12, 2021; with all terms of the previous agreement restored on the final day, prior to expiration. The orchestra agreed to a 10% across the board cut in […]


Kennedy Center Ratifies One-Year Modification

In late October, the musicians of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (KCOHO) and Washington National Opera (WNO), members of Local 161-710 (Washington, DC), ratified modifications to the third year of their agreements that expire on August 31, 2021. Musicians had previously agreed in April 2020 to a 25% cut in all scale wages for […]


Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra Agrees to Contract Modification

Musicians of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra have ratified a one-year contract modification that runs from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Although management had aimed for a longer-term contract, musicians succeeded in keeping the concessionary terms to one year only. In August, Chicago Lyric Opera invoked force majeure and stopped paying wages to […]


Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Musicians Reach Agreement on Wages

The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra (HSO) and Local 269 (Harrisburg, PA) have agreed that the 77 musicians of the HSO will be paid 60% of their customary wages for 2020-21. Additionally, those musicians who perform in-person productions in Harrisburg will receive their per service rates, travel per diem, and single room accommodation over and above the […]


Nashville Symphony Reaches Agreement on Weekly Stipend

After three months of negotiations, musicians of the Nashville Symphony, who have been furloughed since July, accepted an interim stipend agreement beginning January 3, 2021 and lasting through July 31, 2021. Musicians will receive a $500 weekly stipend and will commit to performing community concerts and participating in other projects. Health care coverage will be […]


New York Philharmonic Agrees to Four Years of Wage Cuts

At the beginning of December, musicians and management of the New York Philharmonic reached an agreement on a four-year contract. The new CBA represents a continuation of the shorter term pay cuts that musicians have taken since May, with a 25% salary reduction continued through August 2023. Pay will then increase through September 2024, with […]


Fort Wayne Musicians File Unfair Labor Practice Charges

On November 9, Fort Wayne Philharmonic management rejected an offer by musicians—members of Local 58 (Fort Wayne, IN)—to accept substantial cuts to compensation during the 2020-21 season and return to work performing COVID-safe live and streamed concerts. The musicians’ proposal would have allowed the Philharmonic to rescind its unlawful furlough of musicians and to restore […]


Colorado Springs Phil Abandons Commitment to Musicians

In late September, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s (CSP) board of directors voted to cancel its contract with musicians due to lost revenues because of the corona virus. The cancellation comes after months of negotiations between the Philharmonic and its musicians about how best to share the sacrifices needed for the organization to endure the pandemic. […]


Duluth-Superior Symphony Ratifies Two-Year Agreement

The musicians of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO), members of Local 18 (Duluth, MN), ratified a two-year agreement that runs from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2022. The agreement includes a pay freeze and clarifications to previously ambiguous contract language. A new section provides flexibility for outreach performances. In addition, a one-year COVID-19 side […]


New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Ratifies Side Letter

In September, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra musicians, members of Local 16-248 (Newark/Paterson, NJ), ratified a one-year side-letter agreement that runs retroactively from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021. Under terms of the new side letter, weekly base pay and paid health insurance remains the same, with a 40% reduction in the number of orchestra […]








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