The Selmer Company

The Selmer Company

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The Selmer Company

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Henri Selmer Paris company is a manufacturer of musical instruments started in Paris, France in 1885. It is known for its high-quality woodwind and brass instruments, especially saxophones, clarinets and trumpets. The Selmer Paris brand was preferred by many well-known jazz artists such as John Coltrane, Paul Desmond, Herschel Evans, and Coleman Hawkins.


  • 1858 : Birth of Henri Selmer
  • 1880 : Henri Selmer - son of Charles Frederic, deceased in 1878 - graduates from the Paris Conservatory (clarinet class of Mr Leroy). He is 22 when he enters the Republican Guard Orchestra. He will play successively as first clarinetist in the Lamoureux concerts, with Benjamin Godard and at the Opera.
  • 1885 : Creation of the Selmer Paris company: Henri Selmer begins manufacturing reeds and mouthpieces.
  • From 1898, with the help, Henri Selmer starts manufacturing clarinets and settles his workshop at 4, place Dancourt, Paris. The same year his younger brother, Alexandre (b. 1864), joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a clarinetist, remaining until 1901.
  • 1900 : Henri wins his first Bronze Medal in the Paris Exhibition.
  • 1904 : The Selmer Paris clarinets are presented for the first time at the International Saint Louis Fair (USA), where Henri wins a Gold Medal. At this period, Alexandre Selmer, Henri's brother, has been first clarinetist in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for two years. From 1903, he plays the clarinets his brother is manufacturing in France. This will......
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