Sean Osborn

Sean Osborn

Jung Hwan Park Reading Sean Osborn 3 minutes Next Ron Odrich

Why I Chose Backun

"My MoBas make it easier to play everything I do, from extended-techniques to early music, from solo recitals to opera, from chamber music to films, all with freedom, color, and expression."


Praised as “an excellent clarinettist” by The New York Times, Sean Osborn has traveled the world as soloist and during his eleven years with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. His performance of Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra was “especially admired” for the beautifully inflected phrases" by The Philadelphia Inquirer, and American Record Guide says he gives “a consummate performance,” on his CD American Spirit.

Having made his recital debut at the Kennedy Center at the age of 17, Sean now has over forty concertos in his repertoire, and has recorded over 100 movies and dozens of CDs for Sony Classics, London; Deutsche Grammaphon; CRI; and others. Appointed to a position with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 1989, Mr. Osborn became the youngest clarinetist in the history of the Met. Also performing as guest Principal Clarinet with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and others, he has been singled out for his "bravura technique" (Oggi) and his "slenderly eloquent" solos (Village Voice). In solo performances, critics have acclaimed his "clarinet magic" (Gramophone), described his music as "absolutely delightful" (Buffalo News), and applauded "the effortlessness of his technique” (The Clarinet).

Mr. Osborn has performed live on numerous radio stations including on NPR's Performance Today, and is a top prize winner in the Young Arts Competition, the International Clarinet Association Competition, and in 1984 was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  Festival appearances include Marlboro, Colorado, Aspen, Zagreb Biennale, Seattle Chamber, Pacific Rims, Keystone, and others. He is a grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Aaron Copeland Fund for Music, among others. He is also a published essayist, and has an extensive online presence, including over 300,000 views on his YouTube channel.

In chamber music, Mr. Osborn has collaborated with artists such as James Levine, Donald Weilerstien, Richard Stoltzman, Anne-Marie McDermott, James Ehnes, Richard O’Neill, members of the Tokyo, Colorado, Avalon, Calder, Rimsky-Korsakov, and St. Lawrence Quartets, and principal members of every major North American orchestra. As a new music specialist, Sean has presented premiers of the music of John Corigliano, John Harbison, Phillip Glass, Michael Daugherty, John Adams, Chen Yi, Jennifer Higdon, and Chinary Ung, to name a few. 

A student of Stanley Hasty at the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Osborn is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Interlochen Arts Academy, and earned a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University. He has given numerous masterclasses around the world at schools such as The Eastman School of Music, The Manhattan School of Music, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Rice University, and Northwestern University, and served on the faculty of the University of Washington and the Cornish College of the Arts.

Sean is also an award-winning composer, whose works have been performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and by professionals and students the world over. He is the recipient of ASCAP awards, and winner of the 2017 International Clarinet Association Composition Competition. Works are available through Presser Music and Octogram Press on his website. Recordings are on Cambria and Albany Records.

Performs On

MoBa Bb Clarinet

MoBa A Clarinet

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