After serving as Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Stephen Williamson was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2011. In addition, he has been a frequent guest principal clarinetist with the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra in Japan under Seiji Ozawa. An avid soloist and chamber musician, he has performed extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia, and has recorded numerous albums on labels such as Sony Classics, Telarc, CRI, BMG, Naxos and Decca. He can also be heard on several film soundtracks ; Mr. Williamson was a featured soloist with the CSO under the baton of John Williams, recording his Oscar-nominated score for Steven Spielberg's film, Lincoln.
A former member of the clarinet faculty at Columbia University and the Mannes School of Music in New York, he now teaches at DePaul University in Chicago.
A regular guest at the Selmer clarinet Academy, Stephen Williamson talks about how his playing changed after he discovered the Signature Clarinet...
« When I found this instrument, I was able to use the natural most resonant fingerings and they were far more in tune than on any other scale I played. That was one of the major deciding factors: I could just play music for music's sake.»