The clarinet is a single reed instrument. While the oboe has two reeds tied together (double reed), the clarinet only has one reed which is attached to a mouthpiece. To play the clarinet, you blow air between the mouthpiece and reed, causing a column of air to vibrate through the instrument. Clarinets come in all shapes and sizes, from the small E-flat clarinet to the huge B-flat contrabass clarinet. Although they can make high and low sounds, clarinets are known for having a rich, warm tone.
Gabriel Campos Zamora
Principal Clarinet, I.A. O'Shaughnessy Chair
Gregory T. Williams
Associate Principal Clarinet and E-flat Clarinet, Ray and Doris Mithun Chair
Clarinet and Bass Clarinet
Gabriel Campos Zamora, a native of San José, Costa Rica was appointed principal clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra in 2016. Before joining the ensemble, Campos was the associate principal clarinet of the Kansas City Symphony and has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle and Houston Symphonies in addition to serving as the Virginia Symphony's principal clarinet.
Campos has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and frequently performed in the Kansas City Symphony "Happy Hour" chamber music concerts. He was a fellow of Ensemble ACJW, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.
David Pharris has played second clarinet with the Minnesota Orchestra since 2005, serving as acting associate principal clarinet for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. In addition, since 2009, he has participated in the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Pharris has made numerous chamber music appearances during his tenure with the Orchestra, performing, among other pieces, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Quintet for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola and Cello, Samuel Barber’s Summer Music Opus 31 and Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind.
Gregory T. Williams joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2006 as associate principal clarinet and E-flat clarinet, and he made his first solo appearances with the ensemble in 2007, performing Debussy’s Première rapsodie. In 2014 he was named acting principal clarinet. Williams has made numerous appearances in the Orchestra's chamber music series since joining the ensemble, including notable performances of Mozart’s Piano Quintet and Gran Partita Serenade, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, the Schoenberg Wind Quintet and Villa-Lobos’ Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon.
Timothy Zavadil joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2007 as clarinetist and bass clarinetist, and he has since played those instruments as well as E-flat clarinet, contrabass clarinet, basset horn and saxophones. Previously a member of the Louisville Orchestra, Toledo Symphony and Civic Orchestra of Chicago, he has also performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, National, Toronto and St. Louis symphony orchestras, under such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Sir George Solti, David Robertson, Alan Gilbert, Franz Welser-Möst, Zubin Mehta and Christoph Eschenbach.