Stephen Williamson is the principal clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Riccardo Muti. Mr. Williamson was formerly the principal clarinetist of both the New York Philharmonic (2013-14) as well the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (2003-11). In addition, he has been a frequent guest principal clarinetist with the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra in Japan under Seiji Ozawa.
Mr. Williamson is currently a faculty member of DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He has served on the faculty at Columbia University and the Mannes College of Music in New York City, as well as at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. He has recorded for the Sony Classics, Telarc, CRI, BMG, Naxos and Decca labels and can be heard on numerous 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.”
An avid soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Williamson has performed extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has collaborated with such artists as: James Levine, Yo-Yo Ma, Mitsuko Uchida, Jeffrey Kahane, Anne Marie McDermott, Emanuel Ax, Meliora Winds, Aspen, Dorian and Sylvan Wind Quintets; Brentano, American, Jasper, Brasilia and Dover String Quartets. Past concerto performances of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto are with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan (2011), the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in Carnegie Hall under conductor Fabio Luisi (2012) as well as with the CSO and Maestro Riccardo Muti in February and June, 2016.