Larry Combs BM 61

Highly acclaimed for his orchestral, chamber, and solo work, Larry Combs has earned a well-deserved reputation for creating music of intensity, depth, and beauty.


Upon receiving his bachelor of music degree with distinction and his Performer's Certificate in 1961 from the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Combs began his career playing bass clarinet with the New Orleans Philharmonic, then spent three years of military duty in the 1960s with the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. After leaving the Army, he rejoined the New Orleans Philharmonic as solo clarinet, and in 1968 became principal clarinet of the Montreal Symphony. In 1974, Mr. Combs joined the clarinet section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), and four years later was appointed its principal clarinet by Sir Georg Solti - a chair he continues to hold today. During his lengthy tenure with the CSO, he has made numerous solo appearances with the orchestra in the works of Mozart, Copland, Corigliano, Brahms-Berio, and Debussy, and has performed under the direction of Solti, Barenboim, Abbado, Giulini, Boulez, Levine, Bernstein, Leinsdorf, and many others.


In addition, Mr. Combs is a founding member of the respected Chicago Chamber Musicians, formed in 1986, which performs year-round subscription and community outreach concerts in the Chicago area. His formidable musical talent is equally matched by his love for teaching. As professor of clarinet at the DePaul University School of Music, Mr. Combs has put both to excellent use.


For his significant contributions to music as an orchestral player, chamber musician, soloist, and educator, the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester is proud to honor Larry Combs with its Alumni Achievement Award.

Rochester, New York
March 1, 1999