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Home | MusicMakers | Anthony McGill
Color: Blue
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Season: Summer
Vacation Destination: Costa Rica
Chicago, Illinois United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 12/2/2016

Clarinetist Anthony McGill was born on July 17, 1979 in Chicago, Illinois to art teachers Ira Carol and Demarre McGill. He attended St. Thomas the Apostle School and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. McGill took clarinet lessons at Chicago’s Merit School of Music, attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan and was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. McGill attended Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he received his B.M. degree in clarinet in 2000.

Before graduating from Curtis Institute, McGill was appointed as associate principal clarinetist in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Cincinnati, Ohio. After four years with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, McGill was appointed principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. In 2009, McGill performed alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and pianist Gabriela Montera, at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. The quartet performed John Williams’ Air and Simple Gifts. The following year, McGill released Anthony McGill, his first album. In 2011, he joined the faculty at The Juilliard School in New York City. In 2014, McGill recorded Mozart & Brahams: Clarinet Quintets with The Pacifica Quartet. Following a decade with the Metropolitan Opera, McGill was appointed principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic in 2014. McGill’s appointment to the New York Philharmonic was the first time an African American musician had been appointed a principal in the organization’s entire history. In 2015, McGill became an Artist-in-Residence for WQXR, the nation’s most-listened-to classical music station. McGill, in addition to his principal appointments, appeared as a soloist with numerous quartets and orchestras, including: Baltimore Symphony; New Jersey Symphony; Curtis Orchestra; and Chicago Sinfonietta. He participated in classical and chamber music festivals nationwide, such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Festival. With his brother, classical flutist Demarre L. McGill, he performed on NBC Nightly News, the Steve Harvey Show, Today, and on MSNBC with Melissa Harris-Perry. McGill served on the faculty at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Bard College Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music.

McGill was the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000 and in 2012, he was an inaugural recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, awarded annually to classically-trained artists of color by the Sphinx Organization.

McGill lives in Riverdale, New York.

Anthony McGill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 2, 2016.

Speaker Bureau Notes: