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62 years playing the clarinet - world best

An unusual new category has been added to the Guinness World Records: longest career as a clarinetist.

The standard was set by Stanley Drucker, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, who is retiring at 80 after playing more than 10,000 concerts with the orchestra in his 62-year career.

On Thursday evening at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Drucker was soloist with the Philharmonic in Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto.

The new Guinness record was announced after his performance, with the text: "The longest career as a clarinetist was achieved by Stanley Drucker (USA, born on 4 February 1929) who performed professionally for 62 years, 7 months, 1 day as of June 4, 2009."

From the stage, Drucker said, "This is unbelievable. I want to thank everyone in front of the stage, on the stage and backstage for giving me these memories of an amazing time, something that will stay with me for my lifetime."

Drucker has been with the orchestra longer than any other Philharmonic musician, heard live by more than 40 million people at more than 10,200 concerts. That's equivalent to 70 percent of all Philharmonic concerts since America's oldest orchestra was founded in 1842.


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