The Backun Musical Services Story
Evolution was only a matter of time.
It began as a small woodwind instrument repair shop with a big vision: to offer artists around the world the finest repair services possible. Fortunately, it grew into far more than that. One of our clients, Wes Foster, Principal Clarinet, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Retired), had an antique clarinet in need of a barrel. Not only did Morrie Backun make him a new custom barrel, he designed it in such a way that it improved the tone and response of the clarinet. This product is known today as the Traditional Barrel. Word spread, and soon Wes’ colleagues started asking for barrels of their own. Since that day in 2000, Backun Musical Services Ltd. has only grown in stature and reputation.
Following the debut of the Traditional Barrel, the Traditional Bell took centre stage in 2002 and with it, a new aftermarket accessory line that allowed for yet another level of clarinet customization.
In 2004, Backun Musical Services Ltd. welcomed Ricardo Morales to the family. From the beginning, Ricardo had demanding standards that helped push our products to yet another level. With this in mind, Morrie and Ricardo began collaborating on a line of products that is now known as MoBa, or Morales/Backun. The MoBa Barrel was the first product to reach production, with the MoBa Bell and MoBa Mouthpieces following closely behind. These products made their debut at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2005 in Tama, Japan.
The next generation in the company’s growth was its relationship with Conn-Selmer Inc. from 2006 through 2010. John Stoner, CEO of Conn-Selmer Inc. approached Morrie to design a new line of clarinets for the Leblanc brand. Labeled the Leblanc by Backun line of clarinets, these instruments quickly became the clarinets of choice for many of the world’s most respected performing artists. From Ricardo Morales to Eddie Daniels, from Jessica Phillips to Corrado Giuffredi, musicians from all genres and styles played these instruments on concert stages and in orchestra pits worldwide. And while Morrie’s consulting contract with Conn-Selmer Inc. has ended, Backun Musical Services’ global reputation as the clarinet manufacturer of choice for professionals, amateurs and students alike, has continued to grow through the years.
The year 2010 saw a dramatic addition to the Backun line of clarinet accessories, as Protégé Barrels joined our growing family. Specifically designed and crafted for aspiring artists, the Protégé line of Barrels and Bells optimizes student and intermediate clarinets through an advanced design and the highest quality woods. After all, players of all skill levels should be able to benefit from our knowledge and experience designing clarinets and accessories.
While maintaining a growing company, Morrie continued to perfect his vision for the ultimate clarinet – an instrument of unparalleled craftsmanship, manufactured with the most advanced technologies available. The result of Morrie’s vision, design and craftsmanship, the Backun Clarinet and MoBa Clarinet, debuted at The NAMM Show in 2011.
A unique side of Backun Musical Services that most clients don’t know about is its large OEM capabilities. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Those barrels and bells on Leblanc by Backun clarinets – we made those. Beginning in 2012, Backun Musical Services entered into a new era of OEM development in partnership with Antigua Winds, Inc.. Called the Antigua by Backun project, the fruit of this relationship is the Antigua by Backun Clarinet, which is now available throughout Antigua Winds’ dealer network. The Clarinet body, including the Barrel and Bell, is manufactured in-house at Backun Musical Services using some of the same manufacturing techniques employed on our artist Backun and MoBa Clarinets.
Our promise of ‘Advancing the Art of Woodwinds’ is not something we take lightly. Every day is dedicated to our craft, using our skills and advanced technologies to help musicians reach the highest levels of excellence.
From exceptional aged woods to the purest metals, Backun Musical Services has become renowned worldwide for our dedication to making the finest clarinets ever. Driven by this vision and fueled by the ever-higher standards of our clients – each a proud Backun Artist – our company is constantly pushing the boundaries of art and acoustics. Small wonder that Backun Musical Services has become the go-to source for custom repairs and woodwind instrument designs around the world.
While our product line has grown over the years, what has not changed is our dedication to provide clients with exceptional products and service. Ask any of the legions of artists who play our products, and they’ll tell you why our knowledge and manufacturing services are in demand throughout the world.
From our first barrel to the bell; from our mouthpieces to the first Backun Clarinet; we really are ‘Reinventing the Clarinet One Piece at a Time.’