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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Home » Orchestra News » Linda Ronstadt, Michael Tilson Thomas Receive Kennedy Center Honors


Linda Ronstadt, Michael Tilson Thomas Receive Kennedy Center Honors

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AFM members Linda Ronstadt, of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), and Michael Tilson Thomas, of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) and Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), were among the roster of entertainment industry icons who were inducted recently into the Kennedy Center Honors class of 2019.
“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates icons who, through their artistry, have left an indelible stamp on our collective cultural consciousness,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “Linda Ronstadt is the defining voice of a generation, spanning genres, languages, and continents … and Michael Tilson Thomas goes far beyond keeping score: he has shaped American music and musical institutions for the 21st century.”
Ronstadt, an AFM member since 1972, has forged a four-decade career which established her as one of the important artists in one of the most creative periods in the history of modern music. Her versatile vocalist’s canvas includes pop, Rock ‘n’ Roll, big band, jazz, opera, Broadway standards, and Mexican and Afro-Cuban influences. Ronstadt has worldwide album sales of more than 50 million, at least 31 gold and platinum records, and 10 Grammy Awards.

Thomas, an AFM member sine 1965, is music director of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), co-founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony, and conductor laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. He is an 11-time Grammy Award winner and has, over the course of his career, conducted the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.
Also recognized with Kennedy Center Honors this year were actress Sally Field and the television show Sesame Street.
“In this class of honorees, we are witnessing a uniquely American story: one that is representative of so many cultural touchstones and musical moments that make our nation great,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “When I look at this class, I see the hopes, aspirations, and achievements not just of these honorees, but of the many generations they have influenced and continue to influence. We’re not just looking back; these honorees are urging us to look forward as well.”
The 2019 Kennedy Center Honors recipients recognized for their contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television—are confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honoree selection process includes solicitation of recommendations from the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, the artistic community, and the general public.
The Kennedy Center Honors medallions were presented on Saturday, December 7, followed by a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage on December 8.







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