Monday, November 8, 2021

UWM Post: Clarinetist Anthony McGill of the New York Philharmonic performs works of Adolphus Hailstork and James Lee III at Frankly Music Series in Milwaukee

The UWM clarinet studio with Anthony McGill, who is second from the left in the first row. 
(Photo/Paul Beck)

James Lee III

Adolphus Hailstork

[University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Post]

November 6, 2021

By Kate Jakubowski

The Principal Clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, Anthony McGill, is renowned for his artistic brilliance and dynamic performances. Watching McGill play in this concert was an incredible experience. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the world of classical music, McGill is such an expressive performer that anyone can enjoy and appreciate the music it brings to life.  

The concert was part of a series hosted by Frankly Music. Founded by violinist Frank Almond, who was the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for 25 seasons, the organization strives to provide entertaining performances to the general public. The concert itself was held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, which is also home to the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. The energy in the room was filled with anticipation—and when McGill finally walked onto the stage, the amount of excitement only increased.  

McGill’s performance consisted of five pieces spanning a diverse array of composers and genres. The first piece he played was Three Smiles for Tracey by Adolphus Hailstork. The title was appropriate as it was a joyful, bubbly piece. Coincidentally, McGill also ended Three Smiles with a smile, eliciting chuckles from the audience.  

After Three Smiles, McGill played three pieces accompanied by pianist Jeannie Yu. The first was Grand Duo Concertante, Op. 48 by Carl Maria Van Weber, who is known for his clarinet compositions. The piano and clarinet were so in sync it was hard to tell who was playing what part at times, but this made for an even more magical performance.  

The next piece was entitled “Ad Anah?” by James Lee III. Composed after the murder of George Floyd, the Latin phrase “Ad Anah?” translates in English to “How long?” A contemporary piece, the performance was beautifully expressive and emotionally poignant.  


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