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.
January 9, 2014IM -
As a result of the ongoing musician lockout, Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä resigned from his position October 1, after orchestra management canceled scheduled concerts at Carnegie Hall. Vänskä had warned that he would leave the orchestra if it was not able begin rehearsing in time to save those concerts. This was a devastating loss, as Vänskä had significantly raised the orchestra’s profile and artistic level since he was named music director in 2001. Minnesota Orchestra’s long-time artistic advisor, composer Aaron Jay Kernis, resigned the same day.
Minnesota Orchestra musicians made every effort to avoid this scenario, offering two concessionary proposals September 30, which management did not even consider. The musicians had previously rejected an offer that would have cut salaries by 25%. That proposal included a potential $20,000 signing bonus for each musician—money to cover bonuses had been raised by a board member—but the musicians said that the money should instead be used to allow for a play-and-talk period, as outlined in the proposal from mediator and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.
Immediately following his resignation, Vänskä conducted two musician-produced concerts featuring pianist Emanuel Ax of Local 802 (New York City). He stated that he conducted the performances as a farewell to the community. Tickets for the performance were so in demand that the musicians added a third concert, which sold out in just 30 minutes.