Selmer,Buffet,or Leblanc, which to choose?

To Mr. Friedland,

I hope you can shed some light on a question. My daughter is a sophomore (10th grade) at the Baltimore School for the Arts in Baltimore, Md. She has been playing the clarinet for 7 years and is quite serious about making a career out of it. She currently is playing on a Selmer CL200 wood clarinet with a Vandoren mouthpiece, which does well, but we are looking to upgrade. The two choices we are looking at is of course the Buffet R13 and the Selmer Paris. Everyone says the R13 is the standard by which the others are judged but I’ve learned that that doesn’t always mean it’s the best. Could you give me some insights on the differences between the two. She wants to play in a symphony orchestra someday. She is also interested in the Selmer because she also loves jazz and Benny Goodman, which we believe he played a Selmer Paris. Anything you can tell us would be appreciated.Baltimore, Md.
Benny Goodman did advertise for the Selmer Centered Tone Clarinet, made in the late 50s and 60s, but really, while those instruments are widely purchased by folk who feel they are closer to Jazz, they are not because it is just not the way it is. The Music is the issue and overshadows any mere clarinet or make.One can play on any instrument and I am sure that Benny did also play on a Buffet for a while.
Selmer Paris only means that the instrument is made in France, and has no bore connotation whatsoever. The Selmer which is made in Paris is the best of the Selmer clarinets and none considered professional are made within the US, Buffet either for that matter.
Buffet R13 is widely used within the US but not so much in Europe where other of their models are as or more popular.
Actually Buffet is used almost always in universities, and students are criticized who do not choose to play same.
The Orchestra is quite a jump from a university.
As far as playing in a symphony orchestra, either of the two are widely played presently, as is the Leblanc Clarinet, which Eddie Daniels happens to play. The first clarinetist the Chicago Symphony also plays Leblanc, so it is really a choice only you or your clarinet teacher can make. The first clarinet in Philadelphia plays a Selmer Recital.
The best advice I can give you is that you acquire a good clarinetist who teaches privately, one who is conversant with all styles of music. That would be my most important consideration.
best wishes,
sherman friedland


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