Gene Collerd holds B.A. and M.M. degrees from Yale University where he studied clarinet with Keith Wilson and conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller. He also studied clarinet with Anthony Gigliotti of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Robert Marcellus at Northwestern University, and with soloist Richard Stoltzman. He is Professor of Music, Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was active as a conductor and now teaches clarinet, chamber music, and theory. Serving for several years as Coordinator of Music, he was Chair of the Department of Theatre and Music at UIC in 2010–2011.
Collerd plays Principal Clarinet with the Elgin Symphony, Chicago Opera Theater, Ars Viva Orchestra, and the New Sousa Band; he plays Assistant Principal Clarinet and Bass Clarinet with the Grant Park Symphony of Chicago. A founding member of the Chicago Wind Quintet, he continues to be a guest with such notable ensembles as Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Rembrandt Chamber Players, the Lyric Opera Orchestra, and the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras.
This past summer Collerd was a featured soloist in Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds in the Grant Park Music Festival in Millennium Park, Chicago. In 2006 and in 2009 Collerd was a resident artist/teacher at the Fine Arts College of Nanjing, China. As a recitalist and chamber musician he has performed on many campuses and professional series in this country, Canada, and the People’s Republic of China. He can be heard on the recording Embrace the Wind (RealMusic label) and he is currently working on a CD of music for clarinet and percussion for Centaur Records. His New York debut recital was warmly received by the New York Times and critic John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune has hailed his “virtuoso playing.” His professional conducting includes performances with the Grant Park Symphony and the Arie Crown production of The Nutcracker ballet.