Principal, William R. & Gretchen B. Kimball Chair
Carey Bell became SFS Principal Clarinet, occupying the William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair, in September 2007. He has held principal positions with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the Syracuse Symphony, and he has served as acting principal clarinet of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and as guest principal clarinet with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
As a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Mr. Bell has performed the clarinet concertos of Mozart and Nielsen as well as Debussy's Première Rapsodie. He joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2016. Summer engagements have included the Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the Telluride Chamber Music Festival.
Mr. Bell received degrees in performance and composition from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he studied with clarinetist Fred Ormand and composers William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, and Evan Chambers. During his time in Michigan he participated in summer fellowships at Tanglewood and the Music Academy of the West. After graduating, he continued his clarinet training at DePaul University with Larry Combs and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.