Anthony McGill

Anthony McGill

Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (The New York Times), clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. In addition to his dynamic international solo and chamber music career, Anthony McGill is principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—the first African-American principal player in the organization's history. He last appeared with Music of the Baroque in February 2022.

Anthony McGill is the recipient of the most recent Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music’s most significant awards given in recognition of soloists who represent the highest level of musical excellence. He was honored to take part in the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero.

Anthony McGill appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, and Detroit symphony orchestras. This season he’ll make his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut performing “You Have the Right to Remain Silent” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis, conducted by John Adams, and will also perform the work with the Britten Sinfonia during his time serving as the Barbican Centre’s Milton Court Artist-in-Residence. He’ll open the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s season and, with the Indianapolis Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, he will perform a new clarinet concerto transcribed from Joseph Bologne (the Chevalier de Saint-Georges)'s Violin Concerto in A Major, op. 5, no. 2, transcribed by Derek Bermel. Anthony McGill offered the world premiere of the Bologne transcription during the 2022-23 season when he was the Orlando Philharmonic Artist-in-Residence.

As a chamber musician, Anthony McGill is a favorite collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takács, and Tokyo quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang. He has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and regularly performs for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. His festival appearances include Marlboro, Mainly Mozart, Ravinia, Skaneateles, Tanglewood, and the Music@Menlo, Santa Fe, and Seattle Chamber music festivals.

This season, Anthony McGill and comedian (and fellow clarinetist!) Kimberly Clark debut a unique storytelling comedy project at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara celebrating their shared roots as band kids.

Anthony McGill is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, and previously served as the principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera and associate principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Anthony McGill is an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music. He serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he holds the William R. and Hyunah Yu Brody Distinguished Chair. He is the Artistic Director for Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program, a weekend program dedicated to students who demonstrate a commitment to artistic excellence, which actively seeks young musicians from backgrounds underrepresented in classical music.

Anthony McGill serves on the board of directors for Cedille Records and the Harmony Program, as well as on the advisory councils for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and Time In Children's Arts Initiative. Anthony McGill is a Backun Artist and performs exclusively on Backun Clarinets.

Anthony McGill joins Music of the Baroque at Ravinia on September 10.