Important people in clarinet history

contributions to technique and tradition contributions to instrument design and manufacture associated repertoire/texts
Johann Christoph Denner
1655-1707
Germany
Started a family line of instrument makers. Known as the inventor of the clarinet.
Anton Stadler
1753-1812
Austria
Dominant Viennese wind player of his day, before the clarinet was frequently heard as a solo instrument. Inventor of the basset clarinet. A friend of Mozart; Mozart’s clarinet quintet and clarinet concerto were written for Stadler and his basset clarinet.
Xavier Lefèvre
1763-1829
Switzerland, France
First clarinet professor at Paris Conservatory, 1795-1824. Played with reed on upper lip. Standardized range of e to c’’’’. May have invented the C#/G# key? Also a composer.
Heinrich Baermann
1784-1847
Germany
Well-traveled and much-admired soloist. Known for collaborations with composers Weber (two concerti), Mendelssohn, and Meyerbeer.
Iwan Müller
1786-1854
Estonia, Germany
Active as a soloist. Invented improved clarinets (1809) and basset horns (1808); claimed invention of the alto clarinet. Invented the metal ligature (1817). His brilliant style and improved instrument inspired composers to write pieces for him.
Louis-Auguste Buffet (Jr.)
1789-1864
France
Instrument maker. Best known for collaborating with Klose on the creation of the Boehm-system clarinet.
Hyacinthe Klose
1808-1880
France
1838-1868, professor of clarinet at Paris Conservatory. In the 1830s, collaborated with Buffet in applying Boehm’s ring-key system to the clarinet. Wrote tutor for clarinet, and several for the new saxophone.
Eugène Albert
1816-1890
Belgium
Clarinet maker. Known for finely made instruments—especially the “Albert system” clarinet, though it was essentially a Sax refinement of Müller’s 13-key clarinet.
Oskar Oehler
1858-1936
Germany
Orchestral player; played with groups including the Berlin Philharmonic. Perfected the modern German clarinet with his modifications to the Baermann instrument.
Simeon Bellison
1883-1953
Russia, USA
Orchestral player, including NY Phil 1920-1948. Used Oehler clarinets with very hard reed tied on.
Benny Goodman
1909-1986
USA
Best known as a jazz musician and bandleader; later achieved success as a classical clarinetist. Commissioned Bartok’s Contrasts, Copland Concerto, and Hindemith Concerto.
David Weber
1913-2006
Lithuania, USA
Orchestral player with NBC Symphony, NY Phil, Met Opera, CBS Symphony, and more. Influential teacher at Juilliard and Columbia University.

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