Clarinetist Anthony McGill has become one of classical music’s most brilliantly multifaceted figures and is currently serving as the first African-American principal clarinet player for the New York Philharmonic. Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (The New York Times), as well as for his “exquisite combination of technical refinement and expressive radiance” (The Baltimore Sun), McGill also serves as an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities. McGill was honored to take part in the inauguration of President Obama, premiering a piece by John Williams alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero. (Hear him talk about the experience and watch a snippet of it here!)
McGill appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras around North America, including the Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Kansas City Symphony, and is a favorite collaborator of Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Lang Lang and more. Additionally, he serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, Bard College’s Conservatory of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music.
Anthony McGill grew up in Chicago and performed in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra as a young child. Now, in paying homage to the orchestra that inspired him as a kid, Anthony recently performed with the Chicago Youth Symphony alongside his brother, Demarre McGill, for their latest Cedille Records release, featuring works from Michael Abels, Franz Danzi, Joel Puckett, and more! (Check out our exclusive interview with Michael Abels here!)
We got the chance to catch up with Anthony to learn more about this fantastic project!