Gerald Drucker

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Gerald Drucker
Background information
Born (1925-08-05)5 August 1925
United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
Died 19 March 2010(2010-03-19) (aged 84)
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Double-bassist, Photographer
Instruments Double-bass
Years active ca. 1940–1995
Notable instruments
Pollman double bass

Gerald Drucker (5 August 1925 – 19 March 2010) was a British classical double bass player, photographer and double bass teacher. Principal Double Bass at the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra, and finally the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. He formed the London Double Bass Ensemble in the 1980s.


Drucker was offered the position of principal double bass with the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra at the age of 20. He learned the violin as a child and switched to the double bass at 16. In 1953 came to London to lead the section in the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Malcolm Sargent. He was appointed Principal Double Bass of the New Philharmonia Orchestra (later the Philharmonia Orchestra) in 1964, under Otto Klemperer, and subsequently with Lorin Maazel who held the post of associate principal conductor. Riccardo Muti was principal conductor from 1973 to 1982. Giuseppe Sinopoli succeeded Muti. After he left the Philharmonia, Gerald continued in music as artist director promoting amongst others Vanessa-Mae and later of Min Jin (Violin) and Min Jung (Piano).

He started his career as a violinist with the Boyd Neel String Orchestra at the age of 16, and was soon also playing with the Jacques Orchestra which was founded by Reginald Jacques five years previously. At the Guildhall School of Music he studied violin, viola, French horn (with Dennis Brain) and tuba in addition to the double bass. He has appeared as soloist in concerto performances, including performances of work by Bottesini and Virgilio Mortari (including in “Bottesini’s Grand Duo for violin and Double Bass and Mortari’s double bass concerto) with the Philharmonia under Riccardo Muti at the Royal Festival Hall on 16 February 1978.[1] Drucker was solo bass player in the Anton Chekhov film ‘Romance with a Double Bass’ released in 1974 with John Cleese as the main character.[2] In 1980 he formed a unique group, the London Double Bass Ensemble, comprising a nucleus of four double basses, to perform original works in concert with other instruments. Drucker commissioned a new piece of work by the English composer Robert Simpson in 1981, Quintet for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and String Trio (Simpson) which was performed by the London Double Bass Ensemble at Wigmore Hall that year. Gerald was succeeded by Neil Tarlton as Principal Bass at the Philharmonia Orchestra.[3]

In the 1990s he taught Double Bass at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies Goldsmiths' College. After 50 years as a concert artist he retired in 1990 as Principal Bass and Principal Photographer of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, to the suburbs of London.

Also Gerald has two grandsons and one grand daughter and 2 daughters and 1 son


Film music[edit]


He specialised in photographing orchestras and classical musicians from the early 1960s, being honoured with the unique title of 'Principal Photographer' whilst at the Philharmonia Orchestra. Photographs have been printed all round the world,[citation needed] in newspapers, journals, magazines and books. Notable photographs include those of Otto Klemperer, Riccardo Muti, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Ansel Adams and Lillian Gish. He collaborated with Pamela Weston to provide the photography in the book Clarinet virtuosi of today.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Times newspaper. February 17, 1978.
  2. ^ Romance with a Double Bass. 1974. Anton Films.
  3. ^ Tarlton, Neil. Beginning Scales on the Double Bass
  4. ^ Pamela Weston with photography by Gerald Drucker, Clarinet virtuosi of today (Baldock, Herts: Egon Publishers, 1989; ISBN 0-905858-46-8).

Philharmonia Orchestra Year Books, photography by Gerald Drucker.

External links[edit]