At age twenty-four, Gregory Smith was appointed clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti. Previously he was Associate Principal and E-flat clarinetist of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Principal clarinetist of the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra. Greg was also Principal clarinetist of the Scotia Festival Symphony Orchestra, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Pierre Boulez, Music Director, and Principal clarinetist of the Ravinia Festival Orchestra in Chicago.
Nominated for a Grammy® award for best chamber music performance with the Chicago Symphony Winds, he is also the founding member of the Chamber Soloists of Chicago, heard locally as well as live on nationwide broadcasts from WFMT, Chicago.
A participant in the Scotia Festival Music, heard collaborating with members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Players, he also has been a featured guest artist on the Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine with members of the Vermeer Quartet. Greg has toured the United States under the auspices of Columbia Artist Management with the Chicago Symphony Chamber Players. He has regularly been a guest chamber musician and teacher at the Las Vegas Music Festival and at the Affinis Music Festival, Tokyo, Japan. He can be heard internationally as a featured soloist and chamber musician on the CBC Radio, Canada.
He has performed at International Clarinet Association conferences worldwide and has recently given the world premiere of a concerto written for and dedicated to him at the international conference in Belgium. He also played a two month solo recital tour of six cities in Australia to critical acclaim and was artist in residence at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. He has also played recitals and given masterclasses in numerous cities throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.
Greg's principal teacher has been Robert Marcellus. He has been visiting professor of clarinet at Northwestern University and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is presently clarinet professor at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of the Performing Arts.
He met his wife, Carol Lee, also a clarinetist, while they were both attending Northwestern University. Both were members of the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra. They have also performed together in the San Francisco and Chicago Symphony orchestras on numerous subscription concerts, recordings, and many domestic as well as international tours for both orchestras. They both are clarinet professors at Roosevelt University Chicago College of the Performing Arts where they regularly give masterclasses and recitals.
Greg and Carol Lee enjoy travel, hiking, collecting old recordings, and their special "Norwegian Forest" cat. Greg has created his own handmade clarinet mouthpieces in the style of the famous vintage classics of the twentieth century that are in great demand by many of the finest clarinetists worldwide. He and his wife launched Gregory Smith Clarinet Products, Inc. in 1995 as a result of 45 years combined experience playing and researching fine vintage clarinet mouthpieces. Gregory Smith is a Buffet artist and clinician.