Life could have turned out very differently for Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill. As with so many instrumentalists, fate intervened for Anthony when he was discouraged from playing the saxophone and handed a clarinet instead. He fell in love with the instrument, and the rest is history.
Anthony has been with the New York Philharmonic for just over two seasons, but he has already accomplished a lot. Anthony made his New York Philharmonic solo debut with Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto (the recording of which can be heard on the fourth release of the Philharmonic’s The Nielsen Project, released by Dacapo) and performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto as part of the Concerts in the Parks and on the floor of the UN General Assembly.
You may have also seen him in performance at former President Barack Obama’s first inauguration. Anthony became part of history when he performed alongside Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Gabriela Montero on that winter day in 2009. And you may have heard him at The Metropolitan Opera, where he served as principal clarinet for a decade.
Check out the video Q&A above for more about Anthony’s inspirations, view of life on stage versus the pit, and the momentous phone call inviting him to perform at the Inauguration.
Follow us on Instagram for the inside track on the woodwind section when Anthony takes it over for a day this month.
Stay tuned: next month we’ll feature violinist Duoming Ba.
Learn more about Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill.