Archive Stream: Anthony McGill and Anna Polonsky

Pre-concert talk with Anthony McGill and Thomas C. Holt, Professor of American and African-American History at the University of Chicago

Chicago native Anthony McGill, hailed as one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures, is Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic and the orchestra's first African American principal player. Distinguished both as a soloist with top orchestras and for his collaborations with such modern musical titans as Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, and Mitsuko Uchida, McGill is also a celebrated chamber musician whose most recent appearances on UChicago Presents' series include those with the Pacifica Quartet in 2014 and the Musicians from Marlboro in 2016.

On Friday, June 26, McGill returned to UChicago Presents in a streaming concert with pianist Anna Polonsky. In the several weeks since UCP first invited him to give a virtual concert on its series, McGill's artistry took on newly profound and urgent resonance as he used music as a means of response to police violence and systemic injustice via a video he shared on social media of himself performing "America, the Beautiful." The video, which had received over 250,000 views at the time of the streaming concert, is sparking a movement as artists and citizens respond with their own video performances in solidarity using the hashtag #TakeTwoKnees.

The program will included works for clarinet and piano by Leonard Bernstein, Florence Price, and Carlos Guastavino. Before the performance, Thomas C. Holt, Professor of American and African American History, moderated a pre-concert talk with McGill.

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