Mark Nuccio, Associate Principal Clarinet

The New York Philharmonic

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Mark Nuccio

Mark Nuccio joined the New York Philharmonic in 1999 as Associate Principal and Solo E-flat Clarinet. He previously held positions with orchestras in Pittsburgh, Denver, Savannah, and Florida. He has worked with distinguished conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Erich Leinsdorf, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, André Previn, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Gustavo Dudamel. Additionally, Mr. Nuccio has toured with both the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to numerous countries, recorded with both orchestras, and performed with the Philharmonic on the award-winning series, Live From Lincoln Center, broadcast on PBS. A recent New York Philharmonic tour included a historic visit to North Korea — an event watched around the world.

An active solo and chamber musician, Mark Nuccio has been the featured performer with several orchestras in the United States and on numerous occasions at the International Clarinet Association conventions. He made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2001, his Japan recital debut in 2002, and he now regularly performs in recital in the Far East and Europe, as well as across the U.S. In New York, he often can be heard at Merkin Concert Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Nuccio is also a member of the Philharmonic Quintet of New York (PQNY) — a group of five woodwind players from the New York Philharmonic. Since its inception, in 2001, the PQNY has performed across the globe. During summers, Mr. Nuccio performs chamber music at the Strings in the Mountain Music Festival in Steamboat, Colorado.

As a studio musician, Mr. Nuccio is featured on several movie soundtracks, including Failure to Launch, The Last Holiday, The Rookie, The Score, Intolerable Cruelty, Alamo, Pooh’s Heffalump, Hitch, The Manchurian Candidate, and numerous television commercials. He also performed on the Late Show with David Letterman as well as on the 2003 Grammy Awards.

In November 2006, Mr. Nuccio’s first CD, Opening Night,featuring the clarinet quintets of Mozart and Brahms, was released, and is available at as well as on iTunes and

A Colorado native, Mark Nuccio holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with the renowned pedagogue Robert Marcellus. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He is an alumnus of the Music Academy of the West, now a partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy.

Beyond his active performing schedule, Mr. Nuccio is committed to training the next generation of musicians. He currently serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and teaches master classes in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Nuccio is a Rico advising artist and clinician as well as an artist/clinician for Buffet Crampon, and performs exclusively on Buffet clarinets.

“The most memorable moment with the Orchestra was the day I was hired. Here I was, standing on the stage with some of the greatest musicians in the world. I almost broke down crying.”

Q&A with Mark Nuccio
Mark Nuccio, Associate Principal Clarinet and Solo E-flat Clarinet

THE FACTS: Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. B.M. from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley; M.M. from Northwestern University (both in music performance). Prior to the Philharmonic: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Denver Symphony Orchestra, Savannah (Georgia) Symphony, Florida Orchestra (Tampa). At the Philharmonic: Joined in 1999. Currently adjunct professor of clarinet at Manhattan School of Music.

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: Hearing my father play with Arthur Fiedler as a saxophonist and clarinetist for an International Skating Competition, with Peggy Fleming skating to live music! I began playing the clarinet at age ten. My father, who at the time performed and taught the clarinet, said if I wanted to play, I could have his Buffet clarinet (the brand and model I still play) and that he would be my teacher. I thought it would be great to play a professional quality instrument and have instruction whenever I wanted.

MOST INSPIRING COMPOSERS: Bartók, Rachmaninoff, Penderecki, and Copland

WHO WERE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCES? I was very influenced by my teachers, Bil Jackson and Robert Marcellus, and by the many recordings of Harold Wright, former clarinetist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN? During my freshman year in college. I had to make a decision between professional baseball and music. In my sophomore year, to my mother’s dismay, I switched from music education to music performance in order to focus on my dream of performing in an orchestra.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO NOW? A recording of R&B guitarist Delbert McClinton and Bach violin sonatas

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH THE ORCHESTRA: The day I was hired. Immediately following my fourth and final round (and fourth hour) of auditions, the audition committee and Maestro Kurt Masur were on stage, and Maestro Masur said to me, “We would like to welcome you to the New York Philharmonic family!” It had an extra impact when he said that. Here I was, standing on the stage with some of the greatest musicians in the world. I almost broke down crying. A close second is performing Copland's Clarinet Concerto in June 2013, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert. I'm looking forward to reprising it this summer at Summertime Classics and the Philharmonic's Bravo! Vail residency.

ARE THERE MUSICIANS IN YOUR FAMILY? Besides my father, who was my only teacher until my senior year of high school, my mother and brother were also clarinetists. My grandfather was a drummer.

FAVORITE OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES: Golf, wine-making, road and mountain–biking, skiing, and woodworking
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