Clarinetist Gary Gray was an iconic world-class musician, active in the spheres of classical music, film music, and jazz.

He taught at UCLA and was one of the main clarinet teachers who had a strong influence on my musical perspective.

You can find expansive information on his exciting life and work on his website at garygrayclarinet.com

Thank you for everything, Gary!

Gary Gray was a highly esteemed and inspiring teacher. While teaching undergraduate and graduate students from all over California, he also maintained an international climate with students coming to study with him from England, Portugal, Germany, and other countries.

I found him to be very supportive of women in the clarinet field.

Gary Gray  during his 2008 visit at the Portland State University Clarinet Studio. 

Barbara Heilmair and Gary Gray at PSU

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, “Konzertstück” No. 1, Op. 113; Allegro con fuoco – Andante

Be moved by Gary Gray’s playing in this award-winning recording.

Gary Gray playing his famous solo at the beginning of Rhapsody in Blue. That typical charming smile! My students chatted with him about the show when he was here.

Gary Gray on his career, music, and Hollywood (some funny comments in there as well!)

Did you know that Gary Gray played the clarinet solo in this famous scene?

Wise Gary Gray in an HD interview, sharing insights on auditioning, professionalism, Sinatra, air support, and being practical!


“Ladies, stomp your heels in the ground!”

“I am making an exit.”

“The clarinet has personality potential.”

“Don’t be a dead hero.” (About not taking in enough air for a phrase.)

“It’s Denner time!” (Joke for clarinetists.)

Quote from the 1988 Interview

“I’ve always been attracted to it in the melodic sense, though. I try to make it sing–and by that I mean thinking about the music, molding phrases as a singer would, making the music alive rather than dull–maybe because my father was a singer and the first music I was exposed to was vocal.” — GG

Quote from the 1988 Interview

“It isn’t always easy to make the clarinet sing, because after all, it is a hunk of wood and buttons in your hands,”  — GG


1988 L.A. Times Interview with Gary 

Very read-worthy interview with Gary, done at the onset of his career that was to gain the magnitude for which we know him today. Gary has reached his goals and much more!

Gary Gray Aims to Enliven Clarinet Music – Los Angeles Times

Gary’s Last Recording


A New Piece Remembering Gary Gray will be written by Nicole Buetti in 2024.