John F. Smith (musician)
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After studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1968 to 1971, where he was the winner of the Sidney Langston Prize for Brass playing and was awarded a Licensiate diploma (LRAM), John Smith joined the English National Opera (ENO) orchestra in 1974. He remained there, as Principal Tuba, for almost 20 years. While at ENO he enrolled in the Open University from which he gained a B.Sc (1st Class Hons) in politics and sociology.
In 1994 he was appointed a full-time official of the Musicians' Union (MU) administering the Union's London District. During this time he continued in adult education gaining an MA in Industrial Relations at Keele University. He was promoted to the post of Assistant General Secretary (Media) in 1997. In this role he was responsible for the MU's collective bargaining agreements with broadcasters and audio and audio-visual producers. This meant that he had the authority to administer the non-assigned performers' rights of MU members. At this time he developed an expertise in performers' rights and has been recognised as an expert in this area by, amongst others, the European Commission. In December 2002 John was elected General Secretary of the MU, a position which he still holds today.
In addition to his UK activities, John is President of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM). This role involves representing musicians’ interests in discussions with organisations such as UNESCO, WIPO and the European Parliament and Commission.
John has held directorships of the British Copyright Council, UK Music, the Educational Recording Agency. He is also the Vice-President of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU). He has been a member of the TUC General Council since 2007 and a member of the TUC Executive Committee since 2012.
Most recently, John was appointed Chair of the music licensing company PPL with effect from January 2016.