J. Lawrie Bloom has been heard in chamber, orchestral and concerto appearances on soprano, basset and bass clarinets. He began studying piano at the age of 4 and switched to clarinet at 9. He continued studies at the Columbus Boychoir School, and at that time came under the clarinet guidance of Roger McKinney. He later studied with Anthony Gigliotti.
Founder and artistic co-director of the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival and the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, Bloom frequently performs on the Northwestern University Winter Chamber Festival and both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra chamber and MusicNOW series. During the 2011/12 season he presented two U.S. premieres of works of Thea Musgrave, first her Autumn Sonata, a bass clarinet concerto, with the CSO, with Suzanna Målkki conducting, then at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival he performed her "mini clarinet concerto" Towards the Blue.
Bloom is a founding member of the Chicago based chamber group the Civitas Ensemble. He has performed at the Ambler, Grand Teton, Ravinia, Skaneateles, Spoleto and Mostly Mozart festivals. He toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and he has collaborated with the Chester, Chicago Symphony and Mendelssohn string quartets; the Chicago Chamber Musicians; and members of the Ridge, Orion and Vermeer string quartets. He often has been heard live on WFMT and the Australian Broadcasting Company.
In 1980, Sir Georg Solti invited Bloom to join the CSO on clarinet and solo bass clarinet. He previously held similar appointments with the Phoenix Symphony, the orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vancouver Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony.
Bloom is a senior lecturer in clarinet at Northwestern University. He has presented master classes all over the world, and he also is an artist performer for clarinet makers Buffet Group USA and the reed company RICO International.