Sherman Friedland 1933-2017

June 17, 2017

sfSherman Friedland was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1933, and attended Brookline High School from 1947-51.

After serving as a bandsman in the U.S. Army, he attended Boston University, studying with Gino Cioffi at the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as with Rosario Mazzeo.

He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Music degree.

He was appointed Principal Clarinetist of the Milwaukee Symphony in 1961 and studied at Le Conservatoire Americain.

He studied with Marcel Jean in Paris, and studied chamber music with Mademoiselle Nadia Boulanger.

He was awarded the Diplome cum Laundes in Clarinet by Mlle. Boulanger in 1960.

In 1965, he was appointed as Creative Associate at the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Lukas and Foss, directors, under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

sf2The group, which included Paul Zukofsky, Buell Neidlinger, John Bergamo and Carol Plantamura, focused on avant-garde music and performance, performing regularly in Buffaloand in New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall.

Friedland was Professor of Music at Plymouth State College of the University of New Hampshire in 1968-69, and he served as Assistant Professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado from 1969 until 1976.

In 1976 he became Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal, where he taught Clarinet and Chamber Music, and was conductor of the Concordia University Symphony Orchestra until 1993.

Friedland organized, and was clarinetist and director, for the Concordia Chamber Players.

His concerts as clarinetist have been reviewed by The New York Times among other publications.

He has appeared as clarinetist in over eighty-five concerts of chamber music for Radio Canada. He has also appeared in Musicien Québécois.

Friedland has recorded four compact discs for SNE Records of Montreal: The Concordia Commissions: Music, When Soft Voices Die, Vibrates in the Memory (SNE 614), Sherman Friedland in Concert (SNE 618), The Dream Itself Enchanted Me (SNE 538), and a release including the John Bavicchi’s Clarinet Quintet.

Sherman Friedland died January 26, 2017

He leaves his wife of 51 years Linda, four sons Noah, Abram, Nathan and Joseph; and 2 grandchildren Kayla and Sarah.

A private family service was held. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Wilson Funeral Home 822 Pitt Street, Cornwall. If so desired, contributions to the Ottawa Heart Institute would be appreciated by the family.

Nota bene: Sherman’s Clarinet Corner will remain online until January 2018.

– Neil Schwartzman, webmaster, colleague and friend of SF


More on the metal clarinet of Gaston Hamelin

June 17, 2017

Here is perhaps the finest metal clarinet ever made. (see below)

It was the model played by Gaston Hamelin in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Serge Koussevitsky. In 1931, Hamelins contract was not renewed by Maestro Koussevitsky, specifically because Mr Hamelin played metal. Hamelin went back to France and Ralph McClane went to study with him. (We know that he returned to play Principal in Philly until he died from cancer. He produced some of the beautiful sounds ever made on our horn.)

The clarinet was later taken out of Selmers catalogue with the caveat that it “damaged our prestige.” The late Wm McGibbon of Milwaukee, (who was my techy while I played princoal in that orchestra)gave me part of that information and I trust it to be true.

In any event, that was one of the reasons that the metal horn became extinct.

My first clarinet was metal. It was all shine and spiny and I loved it and vowed that after my first disastrous lesson, I would never squeak again.

I didn’t. At least not for a while.

Sherman Friedland

Of course after this somewhat disastrous event both Selmer and metal becme somwhat of a pariah within the business of orchestral clarinet playing. It is my belief that this event started the move toward other clarinets, (specifically Buffet, by both players and orchestra players) Selmer continued to make fine instruments and still does excelling in workmanship and tuning and consistency but lacking until recently a polycylindrical bore.) The Selmer 10G was supposed to be an exact copy of Tony Gigliotti’s Buffet, but many say it was not and didn’t play half as well.

But McClane and Gigliotti spent hour with Hans Moennig tuning and voicing their instruments and getting them to the level that we still emulate. Of course Bonade, another wonderful player played Buffet. Did he play Buffet because of what had happened to Hamelin? We cannt ask him but we can surmise. Moe recently there have been actual cases where Selmer players wond auditions to major orchestras and then were hooted out with great anxiety when they played Selmer and not Buffet. This is true.

Interestingly, the mantle of the fine clarinet will fall on the heads of those who have designed superior instruments of hard rubber and even grnadilla-dust and carbon fibers, speaking of the Ridenour Lyrique and the Buffet Greenline.

Sutermeister Capriccio for Solo Clarinet (in A)

June 17, 2017

The Sutermesiter Capriccio for Solo Clarinet is one of the more accessible solo worksfor the instrument. I had a request for information on this work from a young man in New Zealand who is studying and working on it in order to play for anexam. He could find nothing about it to place in his program notes; and in away there is not a lot or material on Mr. Sutermeister

Your sound: “setup”, or head?

June 17, 2017

Just thinking about David Glazer, looked his name up and found that he passed away last week. Brother of Frank, (perhaps a more well-known pianist), David was the clarinetist with the New York Woodwind Quintet at its prime and made many recordings and appearances with them. (Sam Baron, Flute, Ronald Rosenman Oboe, Arthur Weisberg, Bassoon, and John Barrows Horn.) It was at the time, simply the best ensemble of its kind.David Glazer was a player of rare ability in that he was able to blend i with a chamber ensemble with a wonderfully sensitive musicality. David also concertized with many orchestras mostly in Europe. In the early 60’s he was in residence along with the Fine Arts Quartet at the University of Wisonsin, (Milwaukee). I went to see and meet him one afternoon. He played a Chedeville mouthpiece with a metal inlay and we immediately tried each others mouthpiece(and clarinet). At the time, I was playing a Selmer S, a very bright mouthpiece and I thought his sound to be quite thick . Within about 5 minutes, he was sounding like David Glazer on my mouthpiece and I like, my bright self, on his. He had retired in 1985, and is survived by his brothers.

As a clarinetist, like you who reads this, I’ve thought about sound for as long as I have played the instrument. From my first efforts, when I heard my first teacher play, it has remained paramount in my mind and certainly whenever I play, (sometimes to great frustration), perhaps as you have as well. So, when I remember the playing of David Glazer and that afternoon in Milwaukee so many years ago, I realize that most of my sound must lodge somewhere in my head, resting in my conception of what the clarinet ought to sound like. Music and the musical phrase have always been more important to me than the basic making of the sound, however that sound does come first. If David Glazer was able to make his sound on my mouthpiece, (and mine on his), what in the world do the things that many students and professionals talk about all of the time have to do with the sound we make on the instrument? NOT all that much, which is basically the subject of this posting.

I am almost overwhelmed by the amount of words I read and hear about mouthpieces, instruments, “setups” and even ligatures. It is enough to make one overcome with the selling of equipment, for that is what it is.

There are folks who market all of the above at prices which are inconceivable to me. Mouthpieces for five hundred dollars! I am especially bothered by the so-called “stepup” products for that is pure and utterly ridiculous crap! A player of the clarinet can make a beautifuly sound on a Bundy mouthpiece, or one of the myriads of Kaspar mouthpieces, (knockoffs and otherwize) for sale out there for hunreds of dollars. And that doesn’t get close to the clarinet itself.

I am maddened by the price that students must pay for what they thnk or are told is a good clarinet, one that has that special sound or ping. Anything near the ballpark of three thousand dollars (or more) is wrong. Wooden instruments are not necessarily better than plastic or hard rubber. The Buffet Greenline clarinet is essentially a plastic clarinet and it is about three thousand bucks! Is that right?  Hard rubber is as good a material as grenadilla or even more exotic woods. These weird woods are much more prone to cracking than hard rubber and the sound is essentially the same. The Lyrique clarinet, (which I play) costs about a third of the price of a wooden instrument and the essential scale is better in tune. This is not an advertisement for my clarinet, for I have never met the man who designed it, nor spoken with him. But I know we feel the same about the hurt we experience when we know a young student or the father and mother of that student have to go and get a loan to buy the youngster an instrument that will run them almost four thousand dollars.

So think about the late David Glazer and me that afternoon. We played with our basic sound on each others mouthpiece (and clarinet). Take it from there when you look at asetup, a step-up, a horn, mouthpiece, ligature or the rest of it. Use your head and your ears.

Stay well, and keep practicing.


model 55 selmer

August 22, 2016


I hope this note finds you well. My name is Ralph Scaffidi…by way of introduction, I am an active (and older) amateur clarinetist. And before I go any further, please let me apologize up front as this note may go on a bit long…I just felt so excited to pass a few comments to you (which if you might indulge me. my reasons should become clear below).

My background in-brief. I started studying clarinet when I was 25 years old (long story), with my initial year with Mr. Edward Golashesky at the Philadelphia College for the Performing Arts; and then after many years of minimal activity, for four years privately with Dr. Bruce Hardy (then a professor of jazz studies at Pepperdine University). For the past 24 seasons, I have been a clarinetist with the Ventura County Concert Band (VCCB), in Ventura, California…playing second clarinet as an avocation to my primary careers as a U.S. Navy civil service systems engineer, and as a U.S. Naval Reserve commissioned officer. I retired from both of these positions between 2008 and 2012, and now pursue my musical interests with a lot fewer distractions [although with no delusions regarding my overall possible future clarinet accomplishments…but I love the instrument and enjoy playing the ensemble wind designs (both classic transcriptions and original wind compositions)]…as well as some occasional jazz-type engagements.

As I have now had more time during the past few years to pursue more in-depth study of all things clarinet, I have had the pleasure of discovering your website. I have found it extremely interesting and informative…of note your experience with SELMER clarinets, and specifically your knowledge of and familiarity with the SELMER-55. In 1992 – 94 I came to posses two very wonderful instruments:

First, a 1947 B-Flat BUFFET Professional;

and Second, a 1945 B-Flat SELMER-55.

I have very much enjoyed the BUFFET (I completed my fourth year of study with Dr. Hardy using it…it really helped in accelerating my playing development). However, when I purchased the SELMER-55, I was just thrilled with it…the larger bore (almost 0.6) makes for much easier blowing with enhanced volume, which I greatly appreciate in a concert band format. I keep both instruments in excellent repair at all times, and they both play beautifully (that is keeping in mind that they are both 70 year old instruments, and that I am an intermediate amateur player…I would expect that a seasoned professional might find them somewhat lacking).

As I learned of the brief history of the SELMER-55 (1945 production only, and a transition between the Balanced Tone and the Centered Tone) I came to cherish it even more. As I continued my research, I found your web postings regarding the all-SELMER clarinet section of the BSO in the 1960s, all playing Centered Tones, but with the principal, Mr. Cioffi, playing 55s…I presume the only All-SELMER section in any major U.S. orchestra (?). From reading your posts, it sounds like Mr, Cioffi played Full Boehm 55s (both A and B-Flat).

I read the postings on your site by Mr. Cioffi’s grandson (from 2008), and appreciated his difficulty with deciding how to properly pass on his grandfather’s / father’s clarinets. I am curious if he ever came to a satisfactory resolution…perhaps these instruments were passed to you?

My mother was a world renowned jazz guitarist (Mary Osborne), and since her passing in 1992, we as a family have maintained ownership of her three first-class guitars (one of which was custom made for her in 1964 by Stromberg-protege guitar maker Bill Barker). And while my brother has performed with two of the three guitars on a somewhat infrequent basis, the time is soon approaching that we will need to determine a new future for the instruments (like the Cioffi family, none of our offspring have neither the ability nor interest in either the music or the instruments…sadly, I do not see leaving any of these to them).

Similarly, I have the same problem facing me with my clarinets, as I begin to think about my own inevitability…not anytime soon, but I know that day will come. As I mentioned above, I have continued to maintain both clarinets in top working condition, and play them regularly (although the 55 gets most of my time…and of course, I am the only SELMER player in the entire section of 11 players).

– I have attached the following pictures:

* both clarinets together / the SELMER-55 is on the left…the BUFFET is on the right

* one of the SELMER alone, and one close-up of the SELMER mechanism

* one of the BUFFET alone, and one close-up of the BUFFET mechanism

– My SELMER-55 has the 4-ring upper joint of the Full Boehm, but no articulated G-Sharp…the lower joint is Standard Boehm.

– I obtained both clarinets from George Borodi Music in South Euclid (Cleveland), Ohio. I had them completely overhauled, with the mechanisms gold plated, at the time of purchase.

– The gold plating took much better to the BUFFET mechanism than the SELMER. Additionally, since the SELMER is my primary performing instrument, the gold plating has worn significantly more, but is still apparent.

If I may ask…only if you would have the time and that it would not be of any inconvenience…I would be most appreciative and grateful if you might please pass on any websites or book titles where I might find further information / history on the SELMER-55.

An additional note. For the first time since I moved to Ventura County 30 years ago, I have finally been able to attend clarinet master classes as an audience member, during the Spring Festival at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Just being able to listen and observe has broadened my approach to playing…it has been a wonderful experience. Clarinet classes are mentored by Prof. Richie Hawley of Rice University…just a marvelous player and a wonderful teacher / mentor.

OK…I have taken up way too much of your time, and I suppose my story has become tiresome. But in any case I did want to tell you how much I appreciate your musical career accomplishments, as well as your willingness to share your experiences with us all via your website. And again, thanks so much for your time in reading my note.

With my most sincere best regards,
Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired) the model 55

eb clarinet

April 7, 2016

Hi Sherman I have a 60’s era B&H Imperial Eb clarinet which I use for doubling in concert band and orchestra. It is a little powerhouse of an instrument and I love playing it, with reservations. It has it’s original mouthpiece. The problem is I don’t like it. I use Eb reeds in preference to cutdown Bb. I play a pair of Leblanc LL’s with a Vandoren B40 mouthpiece usually. I have tried a couple of Vandoren mouthpieces with the Eb and while they feel great to play, they just don’t suit this instrument. Any suggestions on modern mouthpieces that may suit this lovely little clarinet as I don’t have access to be able to just try a wide range. Thanks Kelli


your lls are a great choice. If the mouthpieces for Eb, play well, getting used to them will or should not be difficult

Have a good time with your monster

stay well


sharp with Selmer D MP double lip

February 19, 2016

Hello Sherman Friedland, I have had some long standing (30 years) tuning issues with my Selmer B flat clarinet. Generally the pitch at A440 on my tuner is sharp by 5 Hz even when I pull the tuning barrel out up to 2.5mm. I use the original mouthpiece stamped with a ‘D’. For some time I used a Vandoren 5RV lyre mouthpiece but still had the problem. With concentrated effort I can bring it back into tune but over longer sonatas etc, I feel I get sharp. I was wondering whether it is a barrel issue. I measured the barrel at 66mm long and has a bore of 13.5mm. should I seek a longer barrel? If so how much longer?


Hello and cheers

AVD  mouthpiec labeled M L 13 was recommended and it tuned well, after all the others.Their version of one by Chedeville, and I found to be superb for many years, if not superior for everything.

stay well///..



he effect of the sound in you oral cavtii y

February 14, 2016

Professor Friedland, I would like to communicate with you regarding the subject of the effect of the oral cavity in clarinet tone production . Your opinions as a clarinetist would be very much appreciated I communicated with you (only) once when I learned you were a colleague of ALLEN SIGEL, my teacher when I was an undergraduate at the then University of Buffalo, I hope this reaches you and I look forward to your reply.As for me it would be an exceptional pleasure to communicate with you re the subject above. Michel G. Mulawka PS; I trust the following will bring back a memory. I came across a picture of you and others performing (?) the Gyorgy Ligeti Poeme Symphonique for 100 Metronomes @ the Albright Knox Art Gallery in 1965. I attended a second ‘performance’ (?) of same @ Albright – to this day ‘no comment’! save for/


Professor Friedland,

I would like to communicate with you regarding the subject of the effect of the oral cavity in clarinet tone production
Your opinions as a clarinetist would be very much appreciated

I communicated with you (only) once when I learned you were a colleague of ALLEN SIGEL, my teacher when I was an undergraduate at the then University of Buffalo,

I hope this reaches you and I look forward to your reply.As for me it would be an exceptional pleasure to communicate with you re the subject above.

Michel G. Mulawka

PS; I trust the following will bring back a memory.

I came across a picture of you and others performing (?) the Gyorgy Ligeti Poeme Symphonique for 100 Metronomes @ the Albright Knox Art Gallery in 1965.
I attended a second ‘performance’ (?) of same @ Albright – to this day ‘no comment’! save for/


Hello mr mulawka,\

easy answer, the cavity you mention has virturtually no effect.
The response is diRECTLY THROUGH YOUR EARS ONLY. filtered through your perception of sound, directly connected to the functionality 0f your embouchure, you actually control the effect through all of your development.

The sound as we say, is in your head.

cordially, ]
sherman friedland

home invasions at Heartwood

February 11, 2016

I had what was apparently a home invasion in my room today. A little person in a wheelchair opened  my door, wheeled herself in , and began opening the drawers oF my dEsk. She seemed impervious to my words, asking her to leave, and said not one word, regardless oF my requests for her to leave. No matter what I said, all was disregardEd, her expression unchanged, the movements . She took a remote for my Tv. which was dropped on the floor and conttinued her foraging.

Heretofor, I have had many visits, most of which having been made in my absence, the lateest being a backstratcher, a cute gift ftom my wife. If there is a pack of cookies,it is almost always takEn, the wrapper just left . When first being told thst Heartwoo is my home a I had alarge collecton of Watches, not worth anything,, simply a matter of acquisition over a long period of time, an obbsession over a lon© period of time . Then, the best of these went missing, and I had the collection taken ro my home, my real home.

Heartwood is not.

The demon caller

February 5, 2016

Each morning, for as long as ican remember, at exactly 4:30 AM, my phone rings exactly once, and only once. And, Idont have any idea who is the caller. Now, can it be someone whom I know? Or, someone who is unknown? Is it to remind me of something which has left my memory? I have always prided my self concerning memory.

But as these calls continue, always at 4:30 AM.and only once, doubts are beginning to multiply. Natrully, it could be anyone. About anything, and I dont have Åny clue.

Or, can it be some indication of actual old age? This is disturbing. I am living in a place where screams can be heard at any time, without warning, where this is much dimentia present, coming virtually all day and night, with no warning of any kind.

What does one do? Tell a support worker? I dont think so. That would draw attention to no one else but me. And somehow, that is troubling. Anyway, I feel the need of a coffee, If you are actually out there, ring more than once. If so, I may answer the ring, but now, I am not so sure.

sherman at Heartwood.