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John Bruce Yeh joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1977, having been appointed solo bass clarinet of the Orchestra at the age of nineteen by Sir Georg Solti. Two years later, he was named assistant principal and solo E-flat clarinetist, and currently serves as principal clarinetist of the orchestra.

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Los Angeles, Yeh pursued premedical studies at UCLA, where he also won the Frank Sinatra Musical Performance Award. He entered the Juilliard School of Music in 1975 and attended music schools in Aspen, Marlboro, and Tanglewood. He cites Harold Wright, Ray Still, Marcel Moyse, Allan Dennis, Gary Gray, Michele Zukovsky, and Mehli Mehta as influential mentors. Director of Chicago Pro Musica, Yeh received the Grammy Award in 1986 as Best New Classical Artist.

He frequently plays at festivals and on chamber music series worldwide and has performed several times with Music from Marlboro, the Guarneri, Ying, Colorado, Pacifica, and Avalon string quartets, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As half of the duo, “Double Dialogue,” he performs innovative programs with composer-computer sound artist Howard Sandroff. Their recording, “Dialogues with My Shadow,” of works by Boulez, Carl, Martino, Levin, and Sandroff is available on the Koch International Classics label. Yeh has performed concertos with the CSO on several occasions, including the 1998 American première of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto with Pierre Boulez conducting, as well as the 1993 performance of Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with Neeme Järvi on the podium.

A prizewinner at both the 1982 Munich International Music Competition and the 1985 Naumburg Clarinet Competition in New York, Yeh continues to solo with orchestras around the globe. His more than a dozen solo and chamber music recordings have earned worldwide critical acclaim. Passionately committed to music education, John serves on the Artist-Faculties of Midwest Young Artists, and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Role: Classical Artist 
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