READ List of Famous Clarinetists

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List of famous clarinetists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top clarinetists in the world? This includes the most prominent clarinetists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable clarinetists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic clarinetists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned clarinetists.

Examples of people on this list: Woody Allen, Lester Young and more.

From reputable, prominent, and well known clarinetists to the lesser known clarinetists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the clarinetist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous clarinetists ever?" and "What are the names of famous clarinetists?" then you're in the right place. (158 items)

Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Heywood "Woody" Allen is an American actor, writer, director, comedian and playwright, whose career spans more than 50 years. He worked as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes ...more

Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Benjamin David "Benny" Goodman was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader, known as the "King of Swing". In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of ...more

Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Artie Shaw was an American clarinetist, composer, and bandleader. Also an author, Shaw wrote both fiction and non-fiction. Widely regarded as "one of jazz's finest clarinetists," Shaw ...more

Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Eric Allan Dolphy, Jr. was an American jazz alto saxophonist, flautist, and bass clarinetist. On a few occasions, he also played the clarinet, and piccolo. Dolphy was one of several ...more

Evan Christopher is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Evan Christopher is an American clarinetist and composer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recognized mainly for a personal brand of "contemporary early-jazz,” he strives to extend the ...more

Jimmy Dorsey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
James "Jimmy" Dorsey was a prominent American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, trumpeter, composer, and big band leader. He was known as "JD". He recorded and composed the jazz ...more

Woody Herman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Woodrow Charles "Woody" Herman was an American jazz clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist, singer, and big band leader. Leading various groups called "The Herd", Herman ...more

Chris Speed is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Chris Speed is a film score composer.

Sidney Bechet is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Sidney Bechet was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz, and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist. Forceful ...more

Benny Carter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Bennett Lester "Benny" Carter was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He was a major figure in jazz from the 1930s to the ...more

Paulo Moura is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Paulo Moura was a Brazilian clarinetist and saxophonist. Born in São José do Rio Preto, where his father was the maestro of a marching band and encouraged his son to train as a ...more

Charles Neidich is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Charles Neidich is an American classical clarinetist, composer, and conductor.

Gerry Mulligan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Gerald Joseph "Gerry" Mulligan was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and arranger. Though Mulligan is primarily known as one of the leading baritone saxophonists in ...more

Joe Lovano is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Joseph Salvatore "Joe" Lovano is an American post bop jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist, and drummer. Since the late 1980s, Lovano has been one of the world's premiere tenor ...more

Dr. Michael White is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Michael White is a jazz clarinetist, bandleader, composer, jazz historian and musical educator. Scott Yanow, a jazz critic, said in a review that White "displays the feel and spirit of the ...more

Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Lester Willis Young, nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie's ...more

Marty Ehrlich is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Marty Ehrlich is a multi-instrumentalist and is considered one of the leading figures in experimental or avant-garde jazz.

Colin Davis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Sir Colin Rex Davis, CH, CBE was an English conductor. He was particularly noted for his advocacy of the music of Hector Berlioz and of Michael Tippett.

Alvin Batiste is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Alvin Batiste was an Avant-garde jazz clarinetist born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He taught at his own jazz institute at Southern University in Baton Rouge. His final album was a tribute ...more

Phil Woods is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Philip Wells Woods is an American jazz bebop alto saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader and composer.

Barney Bigard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Albany Leon Bigard, aka Barney Bigard, was an American jazz clarinetist who also played tenor saxophone, known for his 15-year tenure with Duke Ellington.

Nathaniel Shilkret is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Nathaniel Shilkret was an American composer, conductor, clarinetist, pianist, business executive, and music director born in New York City to an Austrian immigrant family.

Jimmy Giuffre is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
James Peter Giuffre was an American jazz clarinet and saxophone player, composer and arranger. He is notable for his development of forms of jazz which allowed for free interplay between the ...more

Derek Bermel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Derek Bermel is an American composer, clarinetist and conductor whose music blends various facets of world music, funk and jazz with largely classical performing forces and musical vocabulary. ...more

Assif Tsahar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Assif Tsahar is an Israeli tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist. He has lived in New York City since 1990. He has performed with Cecil Taylor, Butch Morris, William Parker, Mat Maneri, Hamid ...more

Don Byron is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Don Byron is a Composer.

Johnny Dankworth is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Sir John Phillip William Dankworth, CBE, known in his early career as Johnny Dankworth, was an English jazz composer, saxophonist and clarinetist. He was the husband of jazz singer Dame Cleo ...more

David Krakauer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
David Krakauer is an American clarinetist raised and based in New York, NY. He is known for his work in klezmer music as well as classical music and avant-garde improvisation. He is also ...more

Richard Stoltzman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Richard Leslie Stoltzman is an American clarinetist. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he spent his early years in San Francisco, California, and Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating from Woodward High School in ...more

James Carter is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
James Carter is an American jazz musician.

Dave Oppenheim is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Dave Oppenheim was a film score composer, conductor and musician.

Jorg Widmann is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Jörg Widmann is a German composer and clarinetist. He lives and works in Munich and Freiburg.

Pee Wee Russell is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Charles Ellsworth Russell, much better known by his nickname Pee Wee Russell, was a jazz musician. Early in his career he played clarinet and saxophones, but he eventually focused solely on ...more

Gary Bartz is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Gary Bartz is an American alto and soprano saxophonist and clarinetist.

Bob Wilber is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Bob Wilber is an internationally recognized American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist and band leader living in Chipping Campden, England. Although his scope covers a wide range of jazz, Wilber has ...more

Osmo Vänskä is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Osmo Antero Vänskä is a Finnish conductor, clarinetist and composer. He started his musical career as an orchestral clarinetist with the Turku Philharmonic. He then became the ...more

Paquito D'Rivera is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Paquito D'Rivera is a alto saxophonist, clarinetist and soprano saxophonist. The winner of fourteen GRAMMY Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a ...more

Rudolf Dellinger is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Rudolf Dellinger was a German Bohemian composer and Kapellmeister. He almost exclusively composed operettas and was considered to be among the most outstanding composers of his time. Born into a ...more

Walter Hekster is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Walter Hekster was a Dutch composer, clarinetist and conductor of classical music, specializing in contemporary classical music.

William Basinski is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
William Basinski is an avant-garde composer based in New York. He is also a clarinetist, saxophonist, sound artist, and video artist. Basinski is best known for his four-volume album The ...more

Buddy Collette is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
William Marcel "Buddy" Collette was an American tenor saxophonist, flautist, and clarinetist. He was highly influential in the West coast jazz and West Coast blues mediums, also ...more

Edmond Hall is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Edmond Hall was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader. Over his long career Hall worked extensively with many top performers as both a sideman and bandleader, and is perhaps best known for ...more

Mezz Mezzrow is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Milton Mesirow, better known as Mezz Mezzrow was an American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist from Chicago, Illinois. Mezzrow is well known for organizing and financing historic recording ...more

Ken Vandermark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Ken Vandermark is an American jazz composer and saxophone and clarinet player. A fixture on the Chicago-area music scene since the 1990s, Vandermark has earned wide critical praise for his ...more

Acker Bilk is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Bernard Stanley "Acker" Bilk, MBE was an English clarinettist and vocalist known for his appearance – goatee, bowler hat and striped waistcoat – and breathy, vibrato-rich, ...more

Evan Ziporyn is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Evan Ziporyn is an American composer of post-minimalist music with a cross-cultural orientation, drawing equally from classical music, avant-garde, various world music traditions, and jazz. He ...more

Claude Luter is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Claude Luter was a jazz clarinetist who doubled on soprano saxophone. Luter was born and died in Paris. He began on trumpet, but switched to clarinet. He might be best known for being an ...more

Michel Portal is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Michel Portal is a composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist. Portal studied clarinet at the Conservatoire de Paris. He also studied conducting with Pierre Dervaux. During August 1969, Portal ...more

Phil Nimmons is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Phillip Rista "Phil" Nimmons, OC OOnt is a Canadian jazz clarinetist, composer, bandleader, and academic. Born in Kamloops, British Columbia, the son of George Rista and Hilda Louise, ...more

Kinan Azmeh is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Clarinetists
Kinan Azmeh is a Syrian clarinet player.