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 as well the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Mr. Williamson is currently on faculty at DePaul University. He has served on the faculty at Columbia University and the Mannes College of Music. Mr. Williamson was a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of John Williams, recording his Oscar-nominated score for Steven Spielberg's film, "Lincoln.”
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Williamson 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 are with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, as well as with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A new release of a recording on Sony Classical of Stravinsky’s “A Soldiers Tale” with narration by Roger Waters of the rock band Pink Floyd has received critical acclaim and has topped the charts in Europe.
In 2019, Mr. Williamson represented the USA as one of three invited clarinetists to be on the jury of the famed Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia, the first time in history that the competition has been opened to winds and brass.
Williamson received a bachelor’s degree and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and a master’s degree from the Juilliard School. As a Fulbright Scholar, Williamson studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Germany. His past teachers include Peter Rieckhoff, Charles Neidich, Kenneth Grant, and Michael Webster.