SAMMY LESNICK ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
The Kathryn Powell and Green Flavie Cooper Chair
Sammy Lesnick is a clarinetist devoted to performing classical music in all of its exciting varieties, from Bach to Boulez and beyond. No matter the style, he strives to bring his performances to life with a sense of humor, spontaneity, and adventure.
Lesnick joined the North Carolina Symphony as Assistant Principal and E-flat clarinet in the 2023/24 season. Previously, he was a freelance musician for four years in New York City, focusing on contemporary music, before joining the U.S. Army Band to play funeral ceremonies in Washington, D.C.
Lesnick has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony and the Eastman Philharmonia, and at festivals throughout the United States and abroad. He has performed with the Sarasota Orchestra, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and with contemporary music groups including Ensemble Signal, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, and Eighth Blackbird. He is a founding member of the Zohn Collective, a group of like-minded musicians focused on performing contemporary music by living composers. He has worked with many composers including Steve Reich, performing his New York Counterpoint for solo clarinet as part of Reich’s 80th birthday celebrations.
Lesnick graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a bachelor’s degree in music and Performer’s Certificate. His teachers include Emil Khudyev, Kenneth Grant, Jon Manasse, Sean Osborn, and Kim Fay. In addition to performing as a clarinetist, he also teaches, composes, arranges, engraves scores, and rabidly listens to music of all kinds. Originally from Seattle, he has had a life-long love for nature and, when not making music, is usually outside enjoying the view and looking for funny animals.