Nashville Symphony and AFM Local 257 Ratify New Contract for Orchestra Musicians

Four-year contract provides for salary increases, restores two positions to the ensemble

Nashville, Tenn. (July 9, 2018) — The Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Musicians Association, AFM Local 257, have announced the ratification of a new, four-year contract for the orchestra musicians that will go into effect on August 1. 

The new agreement provides for a 3.5 percent increase to the musicians’ base salaries for the 2018-19 season, as well as increases of 3.75 percent for the 2019-20 season and 4.25 percent for each of the following two seasons. The contract also restores a previously unfilled first violin position in the first year of the agreement and a previously unfilled cello position in the second year, bringing the orchestra’s total membership back to 83.

“Our musicians are at the core of everything we do at the Nashville Symphony, and they are invaluable assets to the entire Middle Tennessee community,” said board chair Mark Peacock. “I am proud that we’ve reached this important agreement, which affirms the value of our orchestra’s hard work and dedication.”

“AFM Local 257 is pleased to have reached a successful conclusion to these negotiations,” said Dave Pomeroy, president, Nashville Musicians Association. “We thank Nashville Symphony leadership and our negotiating committee for their commitment and dedication to the process, and, especially, the musicians of the Nashville Symphony. This contract helps bring these excellent musicians’ compensation closer to their high level of artistic achievement, and we are proud to represent them as we move forward together.”

“The spirit of mutual respect and cooperation that has yielded tremendous accomplishments and accolades for the Nashville Symphony over the years also characterized the negotiations that resulted in this agreement,” said Alan D. Valentine, president and CEO. “We share with our musicians a clear sense of mission, vision and commitment to the community, and this agreement sets the stage for the realization of our long-term goals and a very bright and exciting future for the Nashville Symphony.”

Nashville Symphony second violinist Laura Ross, who serves as Union Steward, noted that the new agreement covers a range of important concerns: “As the orchestra has become busier performing an ever-expanding variety and quantity of material, we needed to address workload and working conditions, along with a financial package. We also made a significant change to our audition process by keeping screens up throughout the entire audition, which will help to ensure that the process remains fair and impartial.

“Thanks to the constant work and communication by both the negotiating committee and the orchestra committee with management,” Ross added, “these negotiations were efficient and collegial. My thanks to all my colleagues for their hard work. We are all proud of the result and the future direction of the Nashville Symphony.”

The Nashville Musicians Association, Local 257 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO, was founded in 1902 and has been looking out for the interests of professional musicians for more than 115 years. Musicians in all fields of the industry, including touring, recording, symphonic, and freelance musicians, arrangers, and composers are all covered under AFM collective bargaining agreements. Local 257 is the third largest AFM local in the United States, and has more than 2,200 active members.

The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 29 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.