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Buffet Crampon

In 1825 a French "luthier", Denis Buffet-Auger, established his workshop right in the heart of Paris. He quickly became well-known in the music world for developing of the excellent 13-key clarinet. At that time, clarinets were entirely hand-made, which required a wealth of experience and craftsmanship.

In 1830, Jean-Louis Buffet (Denis' son) took over the business. He married Zoé Crampon in 1836 and so the famous Buffet Crampon brand name was created. The logo used today first appeared in 1844.

Louis-Auguste Buffet (Jean-Louis' uncle) met the clarinettist Hyacinthe Klosé, a virtuoso musician and a teacher at the Paris Conservatory. These two men, the technician and the artist, worked together. They took the idea of movable rings which the German Theobald Boehm has developed for the flute and adapted it for the clarinet. First exhibited in 1839, this new system was very successful and in order to meet the demand, the Buffet Crampon factory was built in 1850 in Mantes-la-Ville. As early as 1866, Buffet Crampon was producing its first saxophones, 20 years after the invention of this instrument by the Belgian Adolphe Sax.

Buffet Crampon has received many awards for the quality of its instruments, notably in 1889 during the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

In 1918, Buffet Crampon entered the American market and established its position as the leader in the world of professional clarinets.

In 1921, a young beginner, Robert Carrée, was hired by the company. He was an extremely talented acoustic technician and developed the R13 clarinet in 1950 and the RC clarinet in 1975. These in turn led to the creation of the Festival and Prestige professional models.

The factory modernizes its workshops and has adopted modern technology, but remains faithful to its original standards for quality.

In 1981, Buffet Crampon was bought by the famous music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, of London.

In 2003, BUFFET CRAMPON completed its top line by creating the Tosca clarinet, the product of cooperation between its talented instrument craftsmen and well-known musicians, including Michel Arrignon, Romain Guyot, Pascal Moraguès, Guy Deplus and Paul Meyer. This 21st century clarinet is the result of highly elaborate technological advances and is characterized by incomparable elegance and style.

In 2003, Boosey & Hawkes separated from the cream of the crop in French wind instrument manufacturing, to join The Music Group, and in 2005 BUFFET CRAMPON again became independent at the initiative of its CEO, Paul Baronnat. In 2006, BUFFET CRAMPON acquired two famous brass instrument brands, Antoine Courtois Paris (created in 1803) and Besson (created in 1837). The company became Groupe Buffet Crampon, with two subsidiaries, in the United States and Japan, and in November 2007, it appointed Antoine Beaussant as new Chief Executive Officer.

Through these three brands, Buffet Crampon, Antoine Courtois and Besson, the Group is present in the woodwinds sector (clarinets, bass clarinets, oboes, bassoons, saxophones) and brass instruments (trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns, trombones, French horns, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, tubas, saxhorns). The BUFFET CRAMPON professional models are manufactured in the finest tradition of French instrument making, in the historical site in Mantes-la-Ville, in France. The Group's 2007 turnover was 60 million euros, 90% of which was from exports, representing growth of 18% over 2005. Groupe Buffet Crampon is determined to confirm its place in the luxury range by calling on the tradition of French instrument manufacturing and the « Made in France » reputation, as have the best-known luxury brands. On a parallel level, the industrial partners in Germany, India and China are being developed to manufacture student instruments.

The tradition, the spirit of the company and the musicians accompaniment have been, since 1825, and are now more than ever the centre of the dynamic of the Groupe Buffet Crampon.