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


Home » Recent News » San Francisco Symphony Negotiations Continue as Musicians Leaflet Concerts 

San Francisco Symphony Negotiations Continue as Musicians Leaflet Concerts 


The musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, members of Local 6 (San Francisco, CA), have been playing without a contract since their previous CBA expired in November. The orchestra has begun distributing informational leaflets in the lobby of Davies Symphony Hall before concerts. The leaflets argue for the importance of musicians’ salaries in maintaining the orchestra’s record of artistic excellence and urge patrons to contact the symphony’s CEO.  

The dispute centers primarily on compensation, which became a concern during the pandemic shutdown. Management maintains that their contract offer is extremely competitive and the most the symphony can financially support. 

In November 2020, the musicians agreed to a 30% pay cut; now, they are seeking a short-term, one-year contract at the salary level that the previous CBA would have reached, if not for the pandemic. Compounding the importance of salary is the fact that 21 musicians have retired or left the orchestra since 2020, in an expected generational shift that was escalated by the pandemic. Both musicians and management are aligned that compensation—especially in the Bay Area, with its high cost of living—will be a critical factor in the orchestra’s ability to attract top talent to fill its vacancies.