Artistic Advisory Board
Larry Combs has enjoyed a rich and varied career over the past four decades as an orchestral player, chamber musician, educator, and jazz player. Mr. Combs joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1974 and was appointed Principal Clarinet by Sir George Solti in 1978, a position he held until his retirement in 2008. Previous orchestral positions were in the orchestras of New Orleans and Montreal.
In 1986 Larry was one of five musicians who helped found The Chicago Chamber Musicians. Besides CCM, he has also collaborated in chamber music concerts with Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Yo-Yo Ma, Chicago String Quartet, Vermeer Quartet, Fine Arts Quartet, and many others.
Mr. Combs currently an adjunct professor on the faculty of the School of Music of DePaul University and has given master classes and workshops worldwide.
He was awarded his second Grammy for his recording of Richard Strauss’Duo Concertino for clarinet, bassoon, and orchestra with David McGill, bassoon, and Daniel Barenboim leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Richard Hawkins has been the Professor of Clarinet at the Oberlin Conservatory since 2001. For over a decade he was on the performance faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in both the Arts Academy and summer programs. His students now hold prestigious positions in orchestras and institutions worldwide. Mr. Hawkins performed five seasons as principal clarinet with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and remains an active chamber and orchestral musician performing regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall, Blossom Festival and Europe.
As a sideline, he designs and crafts custom clarinet mouthpieces. For over fifteen years, Richard Hawkins has provided clarinetists from all over the world with professional handcrafted clarinet mouthpieces.
Clarinetist Alan R. Kay was honored with membership in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 2002 and serves as Principal Clarinet with New York’s Riverside Symphony. He also performs as principal clarinet often with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and at American Ballet Theater. Mr. Kay’s honors include the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award, Juilliard’s 1980 Clarinet Competition, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the piano and wind sextet Hexagon featured in the prizewinning documentary film, “Debut.”Mr. Kay is a founding member of Windscape and Hexagon; he appears frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and as a guest the Mendelssohn, Rossetti, Mirò, and Shanghai string quartets. A guest artist at many of the country’s finest summer festivals, Mr. Kay returned last summer for his fourth season at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and his sixth season at the esteemed Yellow Barn Festival. His acclaimed performance of Weber’s Concerto at the 2005 Windham Chamber Festival was heard repeatedly through the U.S. on NPR’s “Performance Today.”Artistic Director of the New York Chamber Ensemble, his series of thematic programs at the ensemble’s Cape May Music Festival draws growing audiences each year. Also a conductor, Mr. Kay studied orchestral conducting at Juilliard with Otto-Werner Mueller and has led ensembles at Purchase College, Juilliard, in Buck’s County (PA), Staten Island, California and New York City. Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany in 2004 and teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University. In the past year, he has commissioned and premiered new solo works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Charles Wuorinen and Paul Moravec. He has served on the juries of the International Chamber Music Festival in Trapani, Italy, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. A virtuoso of the wind chamber music repertoire, Mr. Kay has recorded CD’s with Hexagon, Windscape, the Sylvan Winds and many other ensembles.
Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, has quickly earned the reputation of being one of classical music’s finest solo, chamber and orchestral musicians. Before joining the MET Orchestra in 2004, he served as associate principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for four years. With the MET Orchestra, McGill frequently performs in Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, as well as Zankel and Weill Halls with the MET Chamber Ensemble. He can also be seen and heard on the Live in HD broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera.
In addition to his orchestral career, McGill was a winner of the highly prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000 and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and The Curtis Orchestra. This season he will appear with the Peabody Orchestra, The New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra and the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a distinguished chamber musician, McGill hasperformed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Sarasota Festival, La Musica, Tanglewood, Music@Menlo, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire , Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Festival and the Interlochen Music Festival. He is also a member of the newly formed Schumann Trio with violist Michael Tree and pianist Anna Polonsky.
McGill has collaborated with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Lang Lang, Yefim Bronfman and Gil Shaham, as well as world-renowned string quartets including the Guarneri, Tokyo, Shanghai, Miami, Miróand Daedalus quartets. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a chamber and orchestral musician with artists including the Brentano String Quartet, Musicians from Marlboro, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Mitsuko Uchida, Marina Piccinini and Barbara Sukova.
McGill has appeared on Performance Today, MPR’s St. Paul Sunday, Ravinia’s Rising Star Series, on the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood television show and at Lincoln Center as a member of Chamber Music Society Two.
McGill attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music. His former teachers include Donald Montanaro, Richard Hawkins, Larry Combs, Julie DeRoche, David Tuttle and Sidney Forrest. In high demand as a teacher, McGill currently serves on the faculties of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music Precollege. In addition he has given masterclasses at the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Michigan, Stony Brook University, Temple University, UCLA, University of New Mexico and the Manhattan School of Music.
McGill is a Leblanc and Rico Artist.
One of only two wind players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award’s inception in 1974, David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator.
Mr. Shifrin has appeared with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit and Denver symphonies among many others in the US, and internationally with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In addition, he has served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra (under Stokowski), the Honolulu and Dallas symphonies and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony. Mr. Shifrin has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York City as well as the the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. A sought after a chamber musician, he collaborates frequently with such distinguished ensembles and artists as the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, Wynton Marsalis, and pianists Emanuel Ax and AndréWatts.
An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, David Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He has toured extensively throughout the US with CMSLC and appeared in several national television broadcasts on Live From Lincoln Center. He has also been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon since 1981.
David Shifrin joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music in 1987 and was appointed Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Yale and Yale’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall in September 2008. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Hawaii. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary professorship at China’s Central Conservatory in Beijing.
Mr. Shifrin’s recordings on Delos, DGG, Angel/EMI, Arabesque, BMG, SONY, and CRI have consistently garnered praise and awards. He has received three Grammy nominations – for a collaborative recording with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center of the collected chamber music of Claude Debussy (Delos), the Copland Clarinet Concerto (Angel/EMI) and Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with Nancy Allen, Ransom Wilson, and the Tokyo String Quartet (Angel/EMI). His recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, performed in its original version on a specially built basset clarinet, was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review. His latest recording, Shifrin Plays Schifrin (Aleph Records), is a collection of clarinet works by composer/conductor Lalo Schifrin. Both the recording of the Copland Clarinet Concerto and a 2008 recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott have been released on iTunes via Angel/EMI and Deutsche Grammophon.
Mr. Shifrin continues to broaden the repertoire for clarinet and orchestra by commissioning and championing the works of 20th and 21st century American composers including, among others, John Adams, Joan Tower, Stephen Albert, Bruce Adolphe, Ezra Laderman, Lalo Schifrin, David Schiff, John Corigliano, Bright Sheng and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.
In addition to the Avery Fisher Prize, David Shifrin is the recipient of a Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 1998 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Music Academy of the West. At the outset of his career, he won the top prize at both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions. Mr. Shifrin resides in Connecticut with his wife and is the father of four children – Henry, Olivia, Sam and William.
Founder and Director
Clarinetist Jeremy Eig recently completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University. An accomplished chamber musician, he has won prizes at the Fischoff, Coleman, and Yellow Springs competitions, and recently performed with pianist Claude Frank at the New School’s Schneider Concert Series. Mr. Eig’s chamber music concerts have been heard in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage. As an educator, he has given masterclasses at Davidson College, Furman University, and Grand Valley State University, and served as a teaching assistant at Yale and Stony Brook Universities. An active orchestral musician, Mr. Eig has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony and in such halls as Carnegie Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Grand Theatre, and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. As a soloist he has presented works by Mozart, Debussy, and Weber with the Levine Chamber Orchestra and Landon Symphony. Mr. Eig has also participated in music festivals at Norfolk, the Banff Centre, Kent/Blossom, the National Orchestral Institute, Round Top, Hot Springs, Bang on a Can and Interlochen. He holds a Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from Yale University, a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. Mr. Eig’s principal teachers include David Shifrin, Alan Kay, Fred Ormand, and Richard Hawkins.