British clarinet prodigy Julian Bliss worked with Leblanc to create a clarinet worthy of his own performances and one that will "grow with a musician" rather than holding him back. The resulting Leblanc Bliss Clarinet, is manufactured in Elkhart, Indiana.
Even though he is still in his early 20s, Julian Bliss is already considered one of the top clarinet soloists in the world. In collaboration with Leblanc clarinets and designer Morrie Backun, Bliss set out to create a clarinet that would include just about everything that a first-class performer wants to see, feel, and hear. And there was one other important requirement: the Bliss clarinet had to be affordable.
Above all, Bliss wanted a clarinet that worked properly, meaning that it could "grow with a musician"—play with a clear, even sound, play in tune, and have quick and comfortable keys. He also wanted it to have a unique look, one that he says the British would call, "wicked."
Much of the final design of the Leblanc Bliss clarinet is the result of Bliss' intention to create a superior sounding and performing instrument. Existing synthetic clarinet materials just didn't produce the desired sound, so Bliss and Backun experimented until they created their own composite formula that delivers a fuller sound.
Made in the U.S.A., Leblanc Bliss clarinets offer some additional unique features: no rings, and a narrower bell and barrel. This results in a lighter clarinet that is easier to handle and produces a more vibrant sound.
Designer Backun said, "Once the rings were removed, the clarinet had a very clean and sleek profile. Changing the color of the keys to match seemed to be the next logical step." Bliss added, "We tried a lot of different platings but kept coming back to the black nickel. In fact, I like the look so much that I'm having Morrie put it on my other clarinets."
Both Bliss and Backun agree that what they have created is a durable, value-priced clarinet that players of any level can perform with and feel secure. In fact, the majority of orders for the Leblanc Bliss Clarinet are coming from military bands around the world as well as from professionals who do a lot of outdoor gigging or pit work. That is understandable, because the clarinets are designed to be useful in a wide variety of performance situations, making them as appealing to professionals as they are to casual players or student clarinetists.
Three models of Leblanc Bliss clarinet are currently offered: the full synthetic (LB320), the synthetic clarinet with a wood barrel (LB310), and a full grenadilla clarinet (LB210). The result: a Leblanc Bliss clarinet for each desired sound, performance venue, and level of performer's capability.
The Leblanc Bliss Bb Clarinet is a perfect step-up instrument for all clarinetists. Teachers and band directors, as well as high school and intermediate clarinet students will be especially interested in this modern clarinet with a classic sound.
Julian Bliss is so pleased with the results of his design work that he said, "I'll be bringing my personal Bliss with me on the road for encores. I want to make everyone aware of exactly what this clarinet is capable of."