John Bruce Yeh, clarinet

John Bruce Yeh

John Bruce Yeh joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1977 as bass clarinet by Georg Solti at the age of nineteen, the first Asian musician ever appointed to the CSO. Two years later, he was named Assistant Principal and E-flat clarinet. The longest-serving clarinetist in CSO history, he also served as acting principal clarinet from 2008 to 2011. He has performed as guest principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic in Korea, and the Guangzhou Symphony in China. He was a prizewinner at both the 1982 Munich International Music Competition and the 1985 Naumburg Clarinet Competition in New York. Yeh has performed as a soloist with the CSO several times, including in Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with Neeme Järvi and in the U.S. premiere of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto with Pierre Boulez. He continues to solo with orchestras around the globe. 

An enthusiastic champion of new music, Yeh is the dedicatee of new works for clarinet by numerous composers. His more than a dozen solo and chamber music recordings have earned worldwide critical acclaim. John Bruce Yeh is director and cofounder of Chicago Pro Musica, which received the 1985 Grammy Award for Best New Classical Artist.