He played clarinet with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Opera before joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1974. He was appointed principal clarinet of the CSO by Sir Georg Solti in 1978. He has appeared as a soloist with the orchestra on many occasions. He retired from the CSO following the 2007-2008 season to
Awards and recognition
- Daniel Barenboim, Dale Clevenger, Larry Combs, Daniele Damiano, Hansjorg Schellenberger & the Berlin Philharmonic for Beethoven/Mozart: Quintets (Chicago-Berlin) (1995)
- He was awarded his second Grammy Award in 2002 for his recording of Richard Strauss' Duett-Concertino for clarinet and bassoon, strings and harp.
- "Crossing the Line" with Eddie Daniels
- "Mozart: Music for Bassett Horns", CBS Masterworks, 1986 (Grammy nominated album)
- "Chicago Chamber Musicians at 15"
- Chicago Chamber Musicians
- "Larry Combs, Clarinet", Music of Rozsa, Rochberg, and Schuller, 2005
- "Orchestral Excerpts for Clarinet", 1994
- "Brahms, Scriabin, Prokofieff for Clarinet", 1995
- "The American Clarinet", Music of Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, and Gould, 1995