Principal, William R. & Gretchen B. Kimball Chair
Carey Bell became SFS Principal Clarinet and occupant of the William R. & Gretchen B. Kimball Chair in 2007. He has held principal positions with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the Syracuse Symphony, and served as acting principal clarinet of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and as guest principal clarinet with the Philadelphia Orchestra. A former member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, he has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles around the Bay Area and taught at Stanford University. Mr. Bell received degrees in performance and composition from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After graduating, he continued his clarinet training at DePaul University and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2016.
Luis Baez, Associate Principal and E-flat Clarinet of the SFS, joined the Orchestra in 1990. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, he began his professional career as principal clarinet of the Annapolis Opera orchestra and has been a member of the Florida Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, and New Mexico Symphony, where he served as principal clarinet for four years. Mr. Baez made his first solo appearance with the SFS in the 1999 Stravinsky Festival, in Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto. He is a coach for the SFS Youth Orchestra and serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
David Neuman, who has been a clarinetist with the SFS since 1986, received a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute. Before joining the SFS, he served as principal clarinet of the Korean Broadcast Symphony, and as assistant principal and E-flat clarinet with the Cincinnati Symphony. He served for nearly twenty seasons as principal clarinet of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. A former coach for the SFS Youth Orchestra, he is owner of VuPorts, an international reseller of videoconferencing equipment.
Jerome Simas joined the San Francisco Symphony as bass clarinet in 2012. He has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Opera, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, and Naples Philharmonic of Florida. He was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL and has held principal clarinet positions with the California Symphony, Oakland Symphony, and IRIS Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he performs with the Sierra Chamber Society in Walnut Creek, and as solo clarinetist with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in San Francisco. He won Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the International Clarinet Association’s Young Artist Competition, and was a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. As a music educator, he is a member of the collegiate faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has taught master classes in the US, Canada, and China. He is currently a coach with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, a mentor and coach with various Bay Area community ensembles, and serves on the board of the Amateur Music Network. He previously taught clarinet at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, Stanford University, UC Davis, and the University of Akron. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Cleveland Orchestra principal clarinet, Franklin Cohen.
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm
Sat: Noon - 6pm
Sun: 2 hours prior to concerts
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