The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Anthony McGill

Share on Social Media

Information about Anthony McGill

Profile image of Anthony McGill

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Clarinetist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Costa Rica
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/17/1979
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Clarinetist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Costa Rica
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/17/1979
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Anthony McGill is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Classical musician Anthony McGill was born on July 17, 1979 in Chicago, Illinois to Ira Carol and Demarre McGill. He attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and took clarinet lessons at Chicago’s Merit School of Music. McGill also attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, and was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. McGill went on to earn his B.M. degree in the clarinet from Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2000.

Before graduating from Curtis Institute, McGill was appointed as associate principal clarinetist in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was also a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000. After four years with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, McGill was appointed principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. In 2009, McGill played alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and pianist Gabriela Montera at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, performing John Williams’ Air and Simple Gifts. The following year, McGill released his first album Anthony McGill. In 2011, he joined the faculty at The Juilliard School in New York City. He was an inaugural recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, awarded annually to classically-trained artists of color by the Sphinx Organization. In 2014, McGill recorded Mozart & Brahams: Clarinet Quintets with The Pacifica Quartet. The album was his first to be commercially released as a soloist. Following a decade with the Metropolitan Opera, McGill was appointed principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic in 2014, making McGill the first African American 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 appeared as a soloist with numerous quartets and orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Curtis Orchestra, and the Chicago Sinfonietta. He also participated in classical and chamber music festivals nationwide, such as the Marlboro Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. With his twin 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.

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

See how Anthony McGill is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony McGill's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony McGill lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony McGill describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony McGill describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony McGill talks about his father's experiences in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony McGill talks about his parents' careers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony McGill talks about his brother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony McGill describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony McGill describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anthony McGill talks about the prevalence of gangs on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anthony McGill remembers his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Anthony McGill reflects upon his experiences at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony McGill remembers learning to the play the clarinet
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony McGill talks about his musical mentors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony McGill talks about his lessons at the Merit School of Music in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony McGill recalls his early challenges as a classical musician
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony McGill recalls his contemporary musical influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony McGill remembers performing with the Chicago Teen Ensemble
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony McGill recalls joining the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony McGill remembers making a mistake during a solo competition
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony McGill remembers the racial demographics of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Anthony McGill remembers attending music camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Anthony McGill describes his practice schedule
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony McGill reflects upon his experiences at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony McGill remembers his high school education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony McGill remembers the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony McGill remembers joining the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony McGill remembers joining the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony McGill describes his challenges at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony McGill recalls his audition for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anthony McGill recalls receiving the Avery Fisher Grant
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony McGill recalls his appointment as principal clarinetist at Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony McGill describes the audition process for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony McGill talks about judging a professional orchestra audition
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony McGill talks about dealing with nervousness during an audition
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony McGill describes the environment of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony McGill remembers the rehearsals of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony McGill talks about maintaining his health during an opera season
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony McGill reflects upon his work ethic
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony McGill talks about his music manager