AFM President Ray Hair has announced the appointment of Jay Blumenthal as director of Symphonic Services Division and as the Federation’s assistant treasurer. “He is well known for promoting open, honest discussion on difficult issues, in difficult times, in a manner that encourages respect and problem-solving,” said Hair about Blumenthal.
Jay Blumenthal performed as a professional musician for 40 years. He has served on the orchestra committee of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and as chair of the New York Pops Orchestra Committee. His involvement with ICSOM began as a delegate for the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and he was later elected to serve as a member-at-large of the ICSOM Governing Board, a position he held until 2004. Blumenthal has been a member of the Local 802 Executive Board since 1998. For the past eight years he has served as a full-time officer at Local 802—as financial vice president and as supervisor of the Concert Department responsible for symphony, opera, and ballet contracts. Blumenthal holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from New York University and resides in Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.
“We all know there are many challenges facing the symphonic field today, but I truly believe they are not insurmountable,” says Blumenthal. “Building relationships, engaging in honest good faith discussions, and thinking creatively accomplish much more than finger pointing, hand wringing, and unilateral actions. Symphonic music is the ultimate expression of humanity. We must navigate through the difficult issues to preserve the music we hold so dear, while maintaining the standard of living of the musicians who perform it.”
The current SSD director, Christopher Durham, will continue to serve the AFM as chief field negotiator, an area where he has excelled for many years. “The Governing Board of ICSOM wishes to thank Chris Durham for his service as director of the Symphonic Services Division,” said ICSOM Chairperson Bruce Ridge. “Chris has earned the appreciation and admiration of every musician in the AFM. We wish him well in his role as an extraordinary negotiator and advocate for musicians. We also welcome Jay Blumenthal to his new position with the SSD, and we are very excited to work with Jay, as we all continue to work together to advocate for musicians and the arts everywhere.”