Born February 4, 1929, Brooklyn,
New York) is an American clarinetist. Of Ukrainian
ancestry, he began clarinet studies at age ten with Leon
Russianoff, and remained his student for five years. He
attended the High School of Music & Art (now the
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and
Performing Arts, at Lincoln Square). Drucker entered the
Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, but left Curtis
after one year, recruited to the Indianapolis Symphony
Orchestra. After a year, he worked with the Busch Little
Symphony, organized by Adolf Busch. He then became
principal clarinetist of the Buffalo Philharmonic
In 1948, Drucker won a post in the New York Philharmonic
clarinet section. In 1960, he became the orchestra's
principal clarinetist, where he remained for the
duration of his career.
His time with the New York
Philharmonic has included nearly 150 solo appearances
with the orchestra. He gave the first performances of
clarinet concerti by John Corigliano and William Bolcom,
both of these commissions for the New York Philharmonic.
Drucker has appeared on two recordings of the Corigliano
concerto, a studio recording conducted by Zubin Mehta
and a live recording of the 1977 premiere performance
conducted by Leonard Bernstein.
In January 2008, the New York Philharmonic announced
Drucker's retirement from the orchestra at the close of
the 2008–2009 season, for a total of 61 years with the
orchestra and 49 years as its principal clarinet. His
final solo appearance with the orchestra was in June
2009, in performances of the clarinet concerto of Aaron
Copland. Drucker is the only clarinetist to have
performed as the soloist in the Copland clarinet
concerto in performances with the New York Philharmonic
besides its original performer, Benny Goodman.
Drucker is highly regarded for his musicianship and his
longevity of service with the New York Philharmonic,
totaling 10,200 concerts, such as expressed by Gustavo
Dudamel in November 2007:
"He's a legend. The history of the orchestra is in him."
On Thursday, June 4, 2009, Drucker was awarded a
Guinness World Record for longest career as a
clarinetist after his performance of Aaron Copland's
Clarinet Concerto with the orchestra. Guinness thus
logged his Philharmonic career at "62 years, 7 months
and 1 day as of June 4, 2009".
In 2010, Stanley Drucker received an honorary doctorate
in music from the University of Florida.
Drucker is married to Naomi Drucker, former principal
clarinetist of the North Carolina Symphony and current
adjunct assistant professor of music at Hofstra
University. They have two children, Leon, who is the
double bassist for The Stray Cats under the stage name
of "Lee Rocker", and Rosanne, an alternative-country
singer–songwriter. Drucker has the distinction of being
one of the few living orchestral musicians whose
biography appears in the New Grove Dictionary of Music