Saturday Plenary Session
Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (New York Times), clarinetist Anthony McGill enjoys a dynamic international solo and chamber music career and is principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—the first African-American principal player in the organization's history. He is the recipient of the 2020 Avery Fisher Prize
, one of classical music’s most significant awards.
McGill appears 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. He performed alongside Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriela Montero at the inauguration of President Barack Obama
, premiering a piece by John Williams. As a chamber musician, McGill is a collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takács, and Tokyo Quartets, and performs with leading artists including Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang.
He serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School and is the Artistic Director for Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program. He holds the William R. and Hyunah Yu Brody Distinguished Chair at the Curtis Institute of Music.
In 2020, McGill’s #TakeTwoKnees
campaign protesting the death of George Floyd and historic racial injustice went viral. In 2023, he partnered with Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative to organize a classical music industry convening at EJI’s Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, in which leaders and artists in classical music examined America’s history of racial inequality and how this legacy continues to impact their work. anthonymcgill.com