The story of Vandoren goes back to 1905, when Paris Opera clarinettist Eugene Van Doren founded the company to create a superior mouthpiece. His son, Robert, inherited the business in the 1930s and designed some of its most popular mouthpieces that are still available and widely used today. Always branching out with fresh designs and entirely new product offerings, Vandoren is an excellent choice for reeds, mouthpieces and more.
One of the best-known Vandoren products is the 5RV, which revolutionized the standards for clarinet mouthpieces when Robert Van Doren first created it in the 1930s. Later, he made a revised version by request for Jacques Lancelot: the 5RV Lyre. This had a longer facing and wider opening, giving a richer quality to the tone. Great-sounding and easy to control, the 5RV series mouthpieces are still popular 80 years later for students as well as professionals like French concert players Louis Cahuzac and Paul Meyer.
To fit a high-end Vandoren mouthpiece, it's best to use an equally high-end reed. Vandoren has plenty to choose from, such as the Java series for saxophone. These are very flexible reeds that are easy to blow, so they're a great choice for rock, pop and jazz saxophone, especially when you're playing live and need a good balance between sound quality, projection and playability. To get more refinement for classical and highly technical music, you can try reeds like the V12 series and the 56 Rue Lepic Bb Clarinet Reeds. These might be a bit more challenging, but it pays off in the full, rich sound they create.
Of course, there's more to playing woodwinds than just the reeds and mouthpieces. Vandoren knows that well, and they have a good range of accessories to make your playing experience go that much more smoothly. Maintenance supplies include essentials like cork grease, microfiber clarinet swabs and the Vandoren Glass Reed Resurfacer and Reed Stick. You'll also find ligatures, harnesses, caps and more.
If you're an experienced woodwind player, Vandoren is probably a name you became familiar with long ago. If you're just starting out, consider this your introduction! For over a century, woodwind players have been trusting Vandoren to produce the finest mouthpieces, reeds and accessories around, and it's a reputation they continue to live up to year after year.