New York Philharmonic
Principal Clarinetists

New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetists I visited the New York Philharmonic archives during the summer of 2008 and picked up the list of all-time principal clarinetists and the years they were members of the orchestra. If you’ve studied clarinet any, you’ll recognize a number of the names from method books and solo editions. You’ll see the years as principal on the left and name of the clarinetist on the right.


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In 2009, Stanley Drucker retired as principal clarinetist after 60-years of service to the orchestra. An interesting course of “musical chairs” occurred after that.  I’ll try to offer start and stop dates based on media reports from that time period.

New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetists (1842-1857)

Years as Principal

1842-1845 Theodore W. Groenevelt

1845-1846 George Goeller

1846-1847 George Schneider

1847-1849 George Goeller

1849-1853 George Schneider

1853-1854 Theodore W. Groenevelt

1854-1857 Xavier Kiefer

NY Philharmonic Principal Clarinetists (1857-1895)

Years as Principal

1857-1858 Gustav Bahls

1858-1885 Edward Boehm

1863-1864 August Goepel

Substituted for absent Boehm for most of the season

1869-1887 John Drewes

Often acted as principal when Boehm and later Schreurs were not present

1885-1891 Joseph Schreurs

1891-1894 Carl Reinecke

1894-1895 Louis F. Stoeckkigt

NY Philharmonic Principal Clarinetists (1858-present)

Year as Principal

1895-1908 Emil Scheck

1909-1911 Alexander Selmer

1911-1914 Henri Leroy

1914-1920 Albert Chiaffarelli

1920-1923 Gustave Langenus

1923-1948 Simeon Bellison

1948-1960 Robert McGinnis

1960-2009 Stanley Drucker – served with the orchestra for 60 years  

NY Philharmonic Principal Clarinetists (2009-musical chairs to present)

If you thought the above list was historic, it certainly gets more interesting from here to present…

2009-2011 No principal was hired during auditions.  Mark Nuccio, Associate Principal of the orchestra, acted as principal much of this time

2011 Ricardo Morales was hired in April 2011 from the Philadelphia Orchestra after having held principal there since 2003

2013 Stephen Williamson was hired in February of 2013 from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Morales returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra)

2014 Williamson announced his return to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra approximately February

2014-present September hired Anthony McGill, previously principal of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2004

The current full clarinet section of the New York Philharmonic is: 

Anthony McGill - Principal Clarinet, The Edna and W. Van Alan Clark Chair
Benjamin Adler - Associate Principal Clarinet
Pascual Martínez Forteza - The Honey M. Kurtz Family Chair
Barret Ham


Benjamin Adler


Barret Ham