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35 Important Dates in the Life of John Bruce Yeh


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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music

  • 1957: Born in Washington DC, USA, his parents being originally from China.
  • 1963: Began studying the clarinet aged 6.
  • 1973: Pursued pre-medical studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, while playing in local chamber music ensembles and youth symphonies.
  • 1974: Received the Frank Sinatra Musical Performance Award.
  • 1975: Transferred to the Juilliard School in New York City. He became a founding member of the New York New Music Ensemble, retaining an interest in contemporary music throughout his career.
  • 1976: Fromm Fellow at Tanglewood, where he studied with Harold Wright of the Boston Symphony and received the Benjamin H. Delson Memorial Award as Outstanding Instrumentalist.
  • 1977: Was appointed solo bass clarinet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Georg Solti at the age of 19.
  • 1979: Named assistant principal clarinet and E-flat clarinet of the CSO. Joined the faculty of DePaul University’s School of Music. Founded the chamber ensemble Chicago Pro Musica.
  • 1980: Completed his bachelor’s.
  • 1981: Toured with Music from Marlboro.
  • 1982: Third Prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany.
  • 1984: Released the first album with Chicago Pro Musica, Sir William Walton: Façade — An Instrumental Suite in the Original Scoring (Reference Recordings).
  • 1985: Released the second album with Chicago Pro Musica, Stravinsky: L’Histoire du soldat (Reference Recordings), winning the Grammy Award for the Best New Classical Artist. He also won the Second Prize at the Naumburg Clarinet Competition in New York.
  • 1986: Released the album Mozart: Music for Basset Horns (CBS Masterworks Digital) with members of the Chicago Symphony Winds, being nominated for Best Chamber Music Performance at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards.
  • 1987: Was elected to the Board of Governors of the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
  • 1988: Was chosen to serve on the Symphony/Ensemble Advisory Panel of the Illinois Arts Council.
  • 1989: Performed Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto with the CSO / Leonard Slatkin. Toured with the Chicago Symphony Chamber Ensemble. Third album with Chicago Pro Musica, Weill / Varèse / Bowles / Martinů (Reference Records).
  • 1992: Fourth album with Chicago Pro Musica, The Clarinet in My Mind (Newport Classic Premier).
  • 1993: Released his debut solo album, Ebony Concerto (Reference Recordings), with DePaul University Wind Ensemble and conductors Donald DeRoche and Robert Lark. Five performances of Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with the CSO / Neeme Järvi (this recording is on the CSO CD set Soloists of the Orchestra II: From the Archives, vol. 15, 2001).
  • 1995: Second solo album, World Premier Recording of the Clarinet Sonatas by Easley Blackwood and Max Reger (Cedille Records) with pianist Easley Blackwood. Was featured on the album HDCD Sampler, Vol. 2 (Reference Recordings).
  • 1996: Was featured on the album Sergei Prokofiev: Clarinet Concerto (Centaur Records) by the Chicago Chamber Orchestra / Dieter Kober.
  • 1997: Released the solo album Dialogues With My Shadow (Koch International Classics).
  • 1998: American premiere of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto with the CSO / Pierre Boulez. Released the album The Chicago Clarinet Trio (Helicon Records) with Larry Combs and Julie DeRoche.
  • 1999: Released Chicago Pro Musica’s album Early Chamber Works by Elliott Carter (Cedille Records).
  • 2000: Was featured on the album Concerts Under the Dome (Naim) by Vermeer Quartet.
  • 2003: Joined the Board of Directors and the faculty of the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory. Released the album Hindemith: Clarinet Chamber Music (Cedille Records) with pianist Easley Blackwood and the Amelia Piano Trio.
  • 2004: Was featured in Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs in collaboration with the Hubbard Street Dance Company and the CSO / David Robertson. Joined the faculty at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College for the Performing Arts.
  • 2006: Founded the innovative quartet Birds and Phoenix with his wife, clarinettist Teresa Reilly, erhu virtuoso Wang Guowei, and pipa virtuoso Yang Wei, bridging Eastern and Western musical cultures.
  • 2009: Released the album Synergy (Naxos) with his wife — clarinettist Teresa Reilly, his daughter — percussionist Molly Yeh, and the Columbus State University Wind Ensemble / Robert W. Rumbelow.
  • 2010: Was featured on the album Victoria Bond — Peculiar Plants (Albany Records).
  • 2013: Was featured on the album Janice Misurell-Mitchell — Vanishing Points (Southport Records).
  • 2016: Released the album Sonic Migrations — Music of Laurie Altman (Neos).
  • 2017: Was featured on the album Instrument of the Devil (Cedille Records) by violinist Rachel Barton and pianist Patrick Sinozich.
  • 2018: Released the solo album Liquid Melancholy: Clarinet Music of James M. Stephenson (Cedille Records) with pianist Patrick Godon, oboist Alex Klein, Chicago Pro Musica, and the Lake Forest Symphony / Vladimir Kulenovic. Was featured on the album Soul of a Nation — Four Portraits of Presidential Character (Albany Records).
  • 2019: Released his latest album with Chicago Pro Musica, Victoria Bond — Instruments of Revelation (Naxos), also featuring tenor Rufus Müller, and pianists Jenny Lin and Olga Vinokur.


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