Stanley Drucker—The Heavyweight Champ

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Growing up in New York and having lived in the city my entire life, I had a chance to see and hear Stanley Drucker play hundreds of times. He was our hometown kid who made good and always seemed to succeed regardless of any musical challenges he faced. His musical commitment, confidence, passion, personality and energy were ever present and you could always count on him to deliver an inspired performance. His love for the clarinet and music is still apparent, nine years after retiring from his job with the Philharmonic. Stanley continues to practice and perform throughout the world and be involved with his instrument on a daily basis. He goes to concerts and stays abreast of clarinet happenings by attending clarinet conferences and watching YouTube videos. At the age of 89, his youthful approach to life along with his sense of humor and storytelling remain intact. As an example, I was reminded after our interview that while at the Vandoren factory in Paris in 1951 he asked Robert Vandoren if he could meet the fellow who put the TWO good reeds in every box. Typical Stanley. In this interview, he talks about his teachers; approach to practicing; recordings and players who have influenced him; the conductors who made the greatest impression on him; and his equipment. While we live in very troubling times, after spending an afternoon with Stanley Drucker you still get the feeling that everything’s going to turn out just fine. Thank you, Stanley.