LA union’s new boss is horn player

LA union’s new boss is horn player


norman lebrecht

January 10, 2021

Stephanie O’Keefe has become the first woman president of American Federation of Musicians Local 47, representing 6,000 members in the Los Angeles area.

‘I am honored to be elected president of Local 47,’ she said. ‘It has been a goal of mine for many, many years to be an advocate for my fellow musicians. We are the producers of one of the most valuable commodities on Earth. Music has been an integral part of every culture, in every part of the world, for thousands of years. Yet, somehow, the producers of this commodity are often undervalued, if not completely overlooked. My goal is to bring recognition to the music makers, and dignity to our profession.’



  • Larry says:

    Congratulations to Ms. O’Keefe. The Chicago AFM local also has a woman president, Terryl Jares, a violinist.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    May you get what you want. May you want what you get. I wish this young lady all the luck in the world.

    There are not easy times to be a union official especially for musicians in the AFM.

    Issues facing the AFM include a pension that is near collapse, declining membership, global competition for performing on movie scores, and the Covid Virus curtailing live performances while reducing orchestra union dues which support the local and the national AFM.

    • Larry says:

      To quote the old joke…I wouldn’t give that spot to a leopard.

      Old Man in the Northeast

    • Curvy Honk Glove says:

      Why all the doom and gloom, Old Man? Team blue has wrested political and cultural control from the evil, inbred red-team hillbillies here in the US. Team blue’s near-limitless resources and support combined with the youth’s unbridled passion for 200 year old Anglo-European arts is sure to bring orchestras and opera companies roaring back. So cheer up. The future couldn’t be brighter. Oh, and LA has a new union president. Yup… that’ll fix everything.

  • Jack says:

    In LA we dealt with the previous Local 47 head while attempting to run a newly formed professional orchestra. They make 6-figure salaries and then blackmail you with “blacklisting” if you refuse to sign on to their growth-crushing demands like less rehearsal time, fewer concerts, and strict union salaries (including “dues” that go directly to them). They claim they are just trying to help musicians, but the current union rates in LA are insultingly low and pre-pandemic work was barely frequent enough to make a living as a freelance union musician, a situation they aren’t doing anything to help — and are probably making worse. Currently there are about a full orchestra’s worth of musicians in LA (a city of 10 million people) who are even able to survive under their model. The union seems to be in the business of protecting the old-guard. I get that they are in a tough position and are in self-preservation mode, but in order for classical music to rebound after this pandemic they are going to have to seriously rethink their mission and very existence.

    • Nijinsky says:

      Why not tell the complete story, if you would know it, I think you haven’t.

      Stuff Brad Pitt and his other “joker” make spot of hiring. And then there’s someone named “Ben” for Helix, and the whole list of them. That’s THEIR choice, maybe if they wouldn’t, and go help in any ghetto, it might be different. Nice sob story though, maybe you should get further into “Hollywood, and start writing for Television. WHY not!? Aren’t there enough “sit-coms!?”

  • JussiB says:

    We need to stop reporting “the first xxxx” everything in the PC mainstream press.

  • J. Farley says:

    The AFM. Villains, thieves and scoundrels union.