John F. Smith (musician)

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After studying at the Royal Academy of Music from 1968 to 1971, John Smith worked as a freelance musician based in London. In 1974, he joined the orchestra of the English National Opera and remained there, as Principal Tuba, for almost 20 years.

In 1994 he joined the Musicians' Union as a full time official and was promoted to the post of Assistant General Secretary (Media) in 1997. As head of the Union’s Media Department he had the responsibility for the MU collective bargaining agreements with the UK record industry, broadcasters, and audio and audio-visual producers. He also had the responsibility for the royalty and residual payments that are administered by the MU on behalf of its members.

Since becoming General Secretary in December, 2002, he has established himself as a leading figure in the music industry and is a performer director of Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) and a Vice-Chair of the British Copyright Council, and a director of UK Music. In 2003 he was appointed to the Government’s Live Music Forum" He is also a member of the TUC General Council.[1] and in 2012 was appointed to the TUC Executive Committee.

In addition to his UK activities he is President of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), which has a membership of 80 musicians’ unions and associations drawn from all continents. His international duties include representing musicians’ interests in discussions with organisations such as UNESCO, WIPO, and the European Commission.


  1. ^ Congress 2010 General Council Elections T.U.C., 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2011.

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