A California native, Gregory Smith was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti. Previously, he was associate principal and E-flat clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and principal clarinet of the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and the Scotia Festival Symphony Orchestra in Halifax, Canada, where he played under then music director Pierre Boulez.
An active chamber musician, he founded the Chamber Soloists of Chicago, has collaborated with members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Players, has been a featured guest artist with members of the Vermeer Quartet at Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance with the Chicago Symphony Winds.
Smith has toured the United States under the auspices of Columbia Artists Management with the Chicago Symphony Chamber Players and has collaborated with such artists as Yefim Bronfman. He has been a regular guest musician and teacher at the Las Vegas Music Festival and the Affinis Music Festival in Tokyo, Japan.
Smith has been a visiting professor of clarinet performance at Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. He taught at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts for thirty years, beginning when he joined the CSO in 1983. He studied with Robert Marcellus.