Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The clarinetist's last bow

Neat story in the Wall Street Journal today by Barbara Jepson about 80-year-old Stanley Drucker. He is the principal clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic and he is stepping down after a million years. Isn't that a nifty ad I found featuring Drucker? That looks like a cigar he is holding!

Anyway, I enjoyed Barbara Jepson's story. There is only one thing I love more than reading stories about veteran musicians.

That is talking to veteran musicians myself!

Young musicians, they can be fun and relaxing to talk to. But it is not the same as being able to sit down with some old guy and ask, "So, what was it like, performing with Dimitri Mitropoulos?"

That is the greatest!

That is why I loved my experience with Leonard Pennario. Months of just us, sitting around like Calvin and Hobbes. No wife to get in my way. "Leonard, what was it like, playing with Leopold Stokowski?"

Talk about fun!

There is a poignant note in the WSJ story where Drucker talks about how some younger musicians were grumbling that he should retire so a younger musician could have his job. That is a nasty way of thinking. I think just for that he should stay on the job for another five years.

Anyone remember Saffire, the Uppity Blues Women, and how they spoofed that Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"...

If I should stay
I would only be in the wa---ayy...

Someone should play that for Stanley Drucker.

It might not be too late for him to change his mind!

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