Judith LeClair joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Bassoon in 1981, at the age of 23. Since then, she has made more than 50 solo appearances with the Orchestra, performing with numerous legendary conductors including Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Christopher Hogwood, Rafael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, and John Williams.
Before joining the New York Philharmonic, she was Principal Bassoonist for two seasons with the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Ms. LeClair studied with K. David Van Hoesen.
Active as a chamber musician, she has participated in the Music from Angel Fire, Bridgehampton, Bay Chamber, Cape Cod, and Aspen festivals. She has given solo recitals and master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern and De Paul Universities, Oberlin College, University of Michigan, Ohio University and the Settlement Music School. A solo recital and master class are part of her annual sojourn to the Hidden Valley Music Seminar in Carmel Valley, California. She is a member of the Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet of New York, with her colleagues from the New York Philharmonic wind section.
In April 1995 Ms. LeClair premiered The Five Sacred Trees, a concerto commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and written for her by John Williams. She recorded it for Sony Classical with the London Symphony Orchestra in June 1996, with Mr. Williams conducting. Ms. LeClair recorded a solo CD as part of the Cala Records New York Legends series.
Ms. LeClair is on the faculty of The Juilliard School. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, pianist Jonathan Feldman, and their son, Gabriel.