Gary Gray
Professor Emeritus - Clarinet Performance, Music Performance

Gary Gray studied clarinet with Robert McGinnis and chamber music with Janos Starker at Indiana University, where he obtained his Master’s degree in Woodwinds. He also studied clarinet with Mitchell Lurie at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. He was Assistant Principal in the St. Louis Symphony and later won first prize in the San Francisco Symphony Foundation Competition. Mr. Gray is Principal Clarinetist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Faculty Artist/Clarinet Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.

His concerto appearances include the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony, among others; and he has collaborated with Aaron Copland, Elliot Carter, Benjamin Britten, Malcolm Arnold, Pierre Boulez and Igor Stravinsky.

For many summers a Faculty Artist at the Aspen Music Festival, Gray is active in chamber music festivals in the U.S., England, France and Japan, and has performed with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Mischa Dichter, James Levine, Brooks Smith, Milton Thomas and the Cleveland and Angeles Quartets. He has recorded both solo and chamber music for the Nonesuch, RCA, Laureland Vox labels, and has given Master Classes at USC, San Francisco State College and the Royal College of Music, London, among others.

Gray has been a member/performer of the Pacific Serenades chamber music series since its inception in Los Angeles 15 years ago, and performed with them at Carnegie Hall in 1994. He has also concertized with the Tchaikovsky Trio in Belgium and at the Festival de Musique Française de Laon in Laon, France. The Francesco Trio invited Mr. Gray to perform at UC Berkeley in 1996 and they will collaborate again in the near future. His concert on the Los Angeles County Art Museum’s Music Series in 1999 with Mark Kaplan/violin, Ronald Leonard/cello and Walter Ponce/piano included music of Beethoven, Ravel and Messiaen.

His album of solo concerti, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989 in the category of Best Soloist with Orchestra. This was only the second time in Grammy history that a clarinet album received such a nomination. The solo CD includes works of Copland, Rossini, Arnold and Lutoslawski. Mr. Gray’s album of clarinet/piano music, was recorded in London with Clifford Benson, and includes works of Debussy, Saint-Saens, Martinu, Bernstein, Poulenc and Arnold; both CDs are available on the Centaur label.

Ned Rorem’s Double Concerto for violin/clarinet title “Water Music” was recorded for BMG Records by Margaret Batjer, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Mr. Mr. Gray in 1999. This CD of Rorem’s music featuring Brian Asawa was conducted by LACO’s Music Director, Jeffrey Kahane, and was released in 2000. During the summer of 2000 Mr. Gray was invited to perform with Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, where he shared the clarinet duties with its director, David Shifrin. During the summer of 2001 he was invited to be the Featured Artist at the West Coast Clarinet Congress at CSU Fresno and in May 2002 performed with the New Hollywood String Quartet at the Sedona Chamber Music Festival.

During his long career in Hollywood, Gray has recorded film and television scores with such composer/conductors as: John Wiliams, Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, James Horner, Shirley Walker, Randy Newman, Christopher Young, Elmer Bernstein and Alf Clausen, among many others. Some of his recent projects have included: “Finding Nemo” with Thomas Newman and “Matrix 1, 2 and 3” with Don Davis.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Gary Gray handled the clarinet solos with stunning ease and as mellow and gorgeous a sound as may be possible on that instrument.” – Daniel Cariaga

“The composer gave a clarinetist of Gray’s caliber ample opportunity to float long, limber lines, which he did with effortless poise and eloquent point.” – John Henken

“The happy peak of this concert was Gray’s effortless, elegant and energetic playing of the Copland Clarinet Concerto.” – Daniel Cariaga

“In Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ Gary Gray astonished with his liquid clarinet solos.” – Mark Swed

Read more about Gary by visiting his website at:

Theresa Dimond
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Herbie Hancock
Adjunct Professor; LA Phil Guest Artist
Chris Hanulik
Adjunct Professor - String Bass Performance; Principal Bass LA Phil
Katherine Syer
Adjunct Associate Professor
Amy Sanchez
Lecturer - Horn Performance
Wendy Caldwell
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Peter Kazaras
Professor - Director of Opera UCLA
Wayne Shorter
Adjunct Professor; Star-Studded Tribute LA Phil (April 2020)
Iris Malkin
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Maria Fortuna Dean
Lecturer - Voice Performance
Juliana Gondek
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Professor - Voice Performance and Voice Area Head
Travis J. Cross
Chair of Music; Professor
Douglas Masek
Adjunct Professor - Saxophone Performance and Woodwinds Area Head
Christoph Bull
Adjunct Professor - Organ Performance
Denis Bouriakov
Lecturer - Flute Performance; Principal Flute LA Phil
Varty Manouelian
Lecturer - Violin Performance; Violin LA Phil
Boris Allakhverdyan
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance; Principal Clarinet LA Phil
Michael Dean
Professor - Voice Performance
Kenny Burrell
Distinguished Professor
Daniel Szabo
Adjunct Associate Professor
James Miller
Lecturer - Trombone Performance; Associate Principal Trombone LA Phil
Rakefet Hak
Lecturer - Music Director of the UCLA Opera Workshop
Joshua Ranz
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance
Elisabeth Le Guin
Chair of Musicology; Professor
Gregory Goodall
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Gordon Henderson
Professor; Department Vice Chair
William Kinderman
Professor -- Elaine Krown Klein Chair in Performance Studies
Erin Bouriakov
Lecturer - Flute Performance
James Bass
Professor - Director of Choral Studies
Lou Anne Neill
Lecturer - Harp Performance; Harp LA Phil
Che-Yen Chen
Professor - Viola Performance
James Darrah
Lecturer - Stagecraft
Kay Rhie
Assistant Professor
Frank Heuser
Professor; Department Vice Chair
John Steinmetz
Lecturer - Bassoon Performance
Gloria Cheng
Adjunct Professor - Contemporary Music, Performance Studies
Kevin McKeown
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Sumner Arano
Lecturer - Reed Making, Bassoon
Dean Anderson
Lecturer --Interim Director, Philharmonia and Symphony
Victoria Kirsch
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Mark Kligman
Chair of Ethnomusicology; Professor
Inna Faliks
Professor - Piano Performance and Keyboard Area Head
Jocelyn Ho
Assistant Professor - Performance Studies
Jens Lindemann
Professor - Trumpet Performance and Brass Area Head
David Kaplan
Lecturer - Piano Performance
James Newton
Distinguished Professor
Antonio Lysy
Professor - Cello Performance and Strings Area Head
Jonathan Davis
Lecturer - Oboe Performance
Movses Pogossian
Professor, Director of Armenian Music Program
Terence Blanchard
Professor and Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies; LA Phil Guest Artist
Vladimir Chernov
Professor - Voice Performance
Aubrey Foard
Lecturer - Tuba Performance
Peter Yates
Adjunct Professor - Guitar Performance
Paul Floyd
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching

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