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Tags: AFM

The League and Minnesota

0 Robert Levine

Drew McManus created a bit of controversy last week when he wrote: There’s a fascinating article by Lee Rosenbaum in the 3/27/2014 edition of her CultureGrrl column where she discusses the decision by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to denounce one of their members for selling off key items from their collection in order

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Our conspiratorial industry

15 Robert Levine

One of the more intriguing aspects to the psychology of our industry is a general propensity to conspiratorial thinking. It’s not hard to find amongst musicians; the widespread belief that the League of American Orchestras A National Service Organization is behind all our woes is the best-known example, but conspiracy theories fester within orchestras as

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Charleston decertifies

0 Robert Levine

I was reminded yesterday of a classic newspaper headline that combined obviousness with a complete lack of useful information: Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say Something similarly went wrong in the Charleston Symphony, according to Norman Lebrecht: In an unusual move that may prove a sign of the times, players in the Charleston

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The Role of the Orchestra Committee vs. the Local

0 Ann Drinan

An interesting musician session at the League’s June conference featured a panel discussing “The Role of the Orchestra Committee and the Local Union.” The panelists were Robert Levine, Principal Violist of the Milwaukee Symphony, Senior Editor at Polyphonic and former Chair of ICSOM; Tom  Jöstlein, Associate Principal Horn of the St. Louis Symphony, and Chris

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What happens in Vegas might matter to you

0 Robert Levine

The first Convention of the American Federation of Musicians since 2010 begins today. As a local officer, I will be attending as one of two delegates from Local 8. I’ll also be continuing a tradition I started in 2007 – live-blogging from the convention floor. If you want to follow along, here’s the link. For

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American Orchestras: Yes, it's a crisis

2 Tony Woodcock

“I am convinced that if the rate of change within an organization is less than the rate of change outside, the end is near.” – Jack Welch  In the last twelve months the Honolulu, Syracuse, and New Mexico Symphonies have … Continue reading

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The Musician's Union: A Contrarian Point of View–Sort of

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Here’s a blog posted on March 15, 2011 by Columbus Symphony bassoonist, Betsy Sturdevant on her blog.  In it she makes some interesting observations about unions in general, and the Musician’s Union in particular.  Good food for thought.  What do you think? Musician labor unions: the pros and the cons Labor unions formed in the

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AFM wins in court; won't matter much

0 Robert Levine

The AFM (or at least its lawyers) had a good win in labor law land the other day: The AFM has won a significant victory affecting orchestra media negotiations. The AFM has consistently taken the position that orchestra managements who are signatory to AFM media agreements (such as the Symphony, Opera or Ballet Audio Visual

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Wassup in Detroit?

1 Robert Levine

The Detroit Symphony went on strike a little over four weeks ago, although negotiations broke down several weeks before that. That puts the strike clock at around 11:45PM, by normal standards – negotiations seem to begin to get serious, during an orchestra strike, after about six weeks. Why is that? Why not sooner? I think

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Musician Performance Rights–Pending Legislation to Benefit Musicians

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Yesterday I received another email from AFM President Lee.  Unlike the video the previous day, which had a “please join the union message,” this one was all business.  It tells of the legislation before Congress right now that would benefit musician’s works that are played on terrestrial radio.  Here’s part of the email. One of

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Reinforcing The Image of the AFM– Old, Dated and Out of Touch

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Today I received an email from Thomas F. Lee the President of the American Federation of Musicians.  I suppose that it went to all AFM members for whom they have email addresses.  It begins: Dear Member RICKER: I am pleased to announce that the Federation is developing a series of videos to educate musicians and

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Seattle and the Union

0 Robert Levine

Negotiations in Seattle seemed to have reached a rolling boil, judging by this article. Equally interesting is a recent post by Zachary Carstensen, a Seattle arts reporter, on the situation: However, just before the start of the 2009-2010 season, my own opinion of the orchestra’s health began to shift. The SSO had only just begun

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An important election you didn't know about

0 Robert Levine

Most orchestra musicians don’t pay much attention to union politics. That’s OK: most politics in the AFM is not worth paying much attention to. But there was an election the other day that’s worth noting. The two largest locals in the AFM are Local 47 (Los Angeles) and Local 802 (New York). Both are dominated

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