Anthony McGill is the principal clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic, after having served for a decade as principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. McGill is originally from Chicago, Illinois, growing up in the city's Chatham neighborhood. He attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is an instructor at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and the Mannes College of Music in New York City. McGill is one of the few African American musicians to hold a principal position in a major orchestra.
Along with Itzhak Perlman (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), and Gabriela Montero (piano), he recorded and performed "Air and Simple Gifts," composed by John Williams, for the inauguration of United States President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009. Although the music played was a recording made two days prior due to concerns over the cold weather damaging the instruments, the four were actually playing at the same time as the recording.
McGill's older brother, Demarre, is the principal flutist with the Dallas Symphony and previously held the same position with the Seattle Symphony and the San Diego Symphony.
McGill is currently represented by Andrea Hoffman.