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

Solidarity All Around: Musicians Rally to Support Philharmonic Players

Fort Wayne Philharmonic musicians and many members of the community were out in full force for the May Day Rally to Restore Music outside the Allen County Courthouse.  Musicians were furloughed in 2020, during the pandemic, but the Philharmonic has been negotiating with orchestra management for a new contract since 2019.  Musicians came from Detroit, Dayton, […]

Philadelphia Orchestra Begins In-Person Concerts in the Fall

The Philadelphia Orchestra has announced that it will perform for live audiences at Verizon Hall this fall. The concerts will be about one hour long with no intermission. Only about half of the hall will be sold, in pods of two, three, and four, to allow for social distancing. Ensemble sizes will be limited as well.  […]

Boston Pops Perform Virtual Concerts Through the Spring

The Boston Pops announced in late April that its spring season will be presented entirely online, with six weekly concert streams beginning on May 6.  Programs will feature newly recorded content, as well as historic performances from the archives, including a legendary program with Ella Fitzgerald. The spring season opened with the orchestra—whose musicians are […]

San Francisco Opera Stages a Drive-In Production

This spring, the San Francisco Opera presented a three-week run of The Barber of Seville—in the parking lot of a Marin park. The company constructed an open-air stage and also simulcast the opera on a giant screen for a drive-in audience of up to 400 cars.  The orchestra pit of 18 San Francisco Opera Orchestra players, represented by Local […]

New York Philharmonic Gives Concert for Indoor Audience

In mid-April, exactly 400 days after its last live indoor performance, the New York Philharmonic welcomed an audience for a concert at the Shed in New York City. The orchestra’s home venue at Lincoln Center is currently closed for renovations.  Led by guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonic, whose musicians are members of Local 802 (New York […]

Met and Dallas Symphony Orchestra Hold Joint Benefit Concerts

Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) organized a unique collaboration, inviting musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to join the DSO on stage for concerts April 30 and May 1. The Met musicians, represented by Local 802 (New York City), have not performed together in over a year, since the COVID-19 shutdowns, and have gone nearly that […]

Boston Symphony Orchestra Plans Return to Tanglewood

Like many other festivals, the Tanglewood Music Festival is preparing to reopen to audiences this summer. The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, represented by Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) will return to their summer home at Tanglewood for live performances in July and August. The festival will run for six weeks, about half of […]

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra to Perform Summer Season Under Current Contract

The musicians of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and management of the Chautauqua Institution have agreed to extend the terms of the current musicians’ contract agreement through September 2021, while also making adjustments that allow for more flexibility in crafting the 2021 season. Five weeks of performances will take place during Chautauqua’s renowned summer season. […]

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Musicians Extend Contract

In March, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) announced that it will extend its musicians’ contract through June 2024, maintaining all pay, benefits, and work rules of the current CBA. The deal was ratified unanimously by the musicians, 15 months ahead of time. While many orchestra negotiations since the pandemic have involved pay cuts, SPCO […]

NLRB Issues Formal Complaint Against Fort Wayne Phil

On February 24, Region 25 (Indianapolis) of the National Labor Relations Board issued a formal complaint against the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. It alleges that during the course of bargaining for a successor collective bargaining agreement, the Philharmonic failed and refused to bargain in good faith when it “presented and subsequently withdrew bargaining proposals; reneged on […]