Stephen Williamson was appointed principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in December of 2003. He has appeared with a wide variety of orchestras throughout his extensive career, including numerous appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, New York City Opera, Solisti NY Chamber Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, and the EOS Orchestra. Recently Mr. Williamson was appointed principal clarinetist with the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra under Maestro Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Williamson has recorded for Sony Classics, Telarc, CRI, BMG, Naxos and Decca labels and can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks. Mr. Williamson was the Grand Prize Winner of the1994 Boosey & Hawkes/ Buffet Crampon First Annual North American Clarinet Competition. Other past awards include the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Coleman International Chamber Music Competition, as well as the Hochschule der Kunste Kammermusik Wettbewerb. As a featured artist for the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the European Mozart Foundation, he has been on radio and television broadcasts with such artists as Maurice Bourgue, Alexander Longuich, Radovan Vlatkovic, and principal members of the Orchestre Nationale de Paris and de L'Ensemble Intercontemporain. As a core member of the Met Chamber Ensemble, Mr. Williamson has performed extensively with Maestro James Levine both as soloist and as chamber artist. Mr. Williamson is on the clarinet faculty at Columbia University and the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He received his Bachelor's Degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a Master's Degree from The Juilliard School. As a Fulbright Scholar, he furthered his studies at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin, Germany where he collaborated with various members of the Berlin Philharmonic. His past teachers include Peter Rieckhoff, Charles Neidich, Kenneth Grant, and Michael Webster. Mr. Williamson currently plays Selmer Paris Signature clarinets and uses Vandoren traditional reeds with a James Pyne JX/BC mouthpiece. He resides in Rockland County with his wife Jill and their three sons Ryan, Connor and Matthew.