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On the Cover: Anthony McGill

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.

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic Perform at the United Nations

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic performed a historic concert at the United Nations yesterday, paying tribute to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the conclusion of his ten-year term and welcoming his successor, António Guterres. The concert in the UN General Assembly Hall — the Philharmonic’s 13th in collaboration with the UN — was attended by UN delegates, UN staff, and cultural ambassadors, and featured Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, spotlighting Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill.

Touring New York City

After back-to-back performances in Central Park, Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic took the Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer — with major corporate support from MetLife Foundation, Citi, and Emirates Airline — on the road, bringing priceless music, absolutely free, to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Before the Orchestra performed works by Rossini, Mozart, Richard Strauss, and others, each concert was preceded by an appearance by a band from each borough through Share the Stage, the Philharmonic’s initiative to salute the diversity of New York City's resident musicians.

Anthony McGill Named 'True Champion of Justice' by John Jay

Congratulations, Anthony!

Last week Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill received the 2016 John Jay Justice Award at a ceremony at the College’s Gerald W. Lynch Theater. The annual award celebrates five people who are “true champions of justice.” Among the fellow awardees was feminist icon Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. magazine.

After the beautiful video above was shown, President Matthew VanBesien and Board Member Alec Baldwin presented the award to Mr. McGill. “How lucky we are to have this special individual as an ambassador,” VanBesien said of McGill.

“When I think back, I could never have imagined receiving this honor,” said McGill. “I was just a clarinet player in a band.” Having access to important mentors and important institutions, he noted, “is something every child deserves.”

The Justice Awards, created in 2008, affirm the commitment of John Jay College to strengthening society’s social fabric through justice and civic engagement. Named after John Jay, a founding father and first Chief Justice of the United States, the awards recognize individuals and organizations for their unparalleled dedication to the cause of justice.

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