In Tuesday’s (5/26) Wall Street Journal, Barbara Jepson writes, “Eighty-year-old Stanley Drucker, who retires next month as principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic after a record-setting 60-year tenure, is part of an international orchestral elite of ‘star’ section leaders—players who flawlessly execute solo passages in symphonic scores and shine in the concerto spotlight as well. His name may not be familiar, but his fluid, aptly cheeky rendering of the famous glissando clarinet opening of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ has been enjoyed by millions who saw the Woody Allen film ‘Manhattan.’ His recordings of concertos by Aaron Copland and John Corigliano with the Philharmonic won him Grammy nominations.” Drucker gives his final concerto appearances (playing the Copland) with the Philharmonic beginning next week under retiring music director Lorin Maazel. “His own playing is notable for its seamless legato, heartfelt expressivity, tonguing precision and clarity of sound. He has performed nearly 200 times as soloist, and given the premieres of concertos by Mr. Corigliano and William Bolcom, commissioned for him by the Philharmonic. An archival exhibit of memorabilia about the clarinetist is on display at Fisher Hall through Aug. 15.”

Posted May 26, 2009

Photo credit: Michael DiVito