What Clarinet Does Julian Bliss Play

What Clarinet Does Julian Bliss Play?

Julian Bliss is a world-renowned clarinetist who has performed as a soloist, chamber, and jazz musician.

He is known for his exceptional talent and has inspired a generation of young players. With his Conn-Selmer range of affordable clarinets, he has introduced a substantial new audience to his instrument.

One of the most frequently asked questions by Julian Bliss’s fans is what clarinet he plays.

Julian Bliss plays the Leblanc Bliss clarinet, which he designed for instrument manufacturer Leblanc. The Leblanc Bliss clarinet is a professional-level clarinet that comes in three models: the full synthetic, the synthetic clarinet with a wood barrel, and a full grenadilla clarinet. Each model offers a different sound and level of performer’s capability.

The Leblanc Bliss clarinet is a popular choice among professional clarinetists due to its exceptional craftsmanship and sound quality.

Julian Bliss’s choice to play the Leblanc Bliss clarinet is a testament to its high-quality and performance. In this article, we will delve deeper into the Leblanc Bliss clarinet and explore its features and benefits.

Julian Bliss: The Musician and Clarinettist

Early Years and Education

Julian Bliss is a British clarinettist and musician, born in 1989.

He began playing the clarinet at the age of four and was soon recognized as a prodigious talent.

He attended the Purcell School, a specialist music school in the UK, and later studied at Indiana University in the United States, where he received a full scholarship.

Career as a Clarinet Soloist and Chamber Musician

Bliss has established himself as one of the leading clarinet soloists and chamber musicians of his generation.

He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

He is particularly known for his performances of Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto and has recorded it with the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Bliss is also a keen chamber musician and has performed with many of the world’s leading ensembles, including the Julian Bliss Septet.

He has collaborated with musicians such as Joshua Bell, Hélène Grimaud, and Steven Isserlis, and has performed at venues such as Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center.

He has also worked with pianists Elena Bashkirova, Bradley Moore, and Christopher Glynn, and sopranos Ailish Tynan and Lucy Crowe.

Bliss is not only a performer but also a jazz artist and masterclass leader.

He has explored the boundaries of his instrument, and his repertoire ranges from classical to jazz.

He has created his Conn-Selmer range of affordable clarinets, which has inspired a generation of young players. He has also introduced a substantial new audience to his instrument through his tireless musical exploration.

The Clarinet Julian Bliss Plays

Brand and Model

Julian Bliss is a world-renowned clarinetist known for his exceptional skill and talent.

He is also the creator of his own line of affordable clarinets under the Conn-Selmer brand. However, when it comes to his personal instrument, Julian Bliss plays on a Leblanc Bliss clarinet.

This clarinet was designed in collaboration with Leblanc and Julian Bliss to create an instrument that is lightweight, easy to play, and produces a beautiful sound.

The Leblanc Bliss clarinet is made with a black nickel finish that gives it a sleek, modern look. It also features a lighter weight design, making it easier to hold for extended periods of time. The keys and rings are also ergonomically designed to make it more comfortable to play, especially for younger or smaller hands.


The Leblanc Bliss clarinet has several features that make it a popular choice among clarinet players. One of the most notable features is the barrel design. The barrel is tapered to create a more focused sound, which is especially important for solo performances. Additionally, the clarinet has a unique bore design that helps to produce a warm and rich tone.

The Leblanc Bliss clarinet also has a unique key design that makes it easier to play. The keys are designed with a shorter throw, meaning that they require less distance to be pressed down. This makes it easier to play faster passages and to play with more precision. The clarinet also has a low Eb key that is positioned closer to the other keys, making it easier to reach.

Overall, the Leblanc Bliss clarinet is a high-quality instrument that is designed to meet the needs of professional clarinet players. It is a popular choice among teachers and high school students who are looking for a reliable and affordable instrument that produces a beautiful sound.

Julian Bliss’s Tone and Sound

Julian Bliss is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest clarinetists. His tone and sound are often praised for their clarity, precision, and expressiveness. In this section, we will explore the factors that contribute to Julian Bliss’s signature sound.

Technique and Embouchure

Julian Bliss’s tone and sound are a result of his exceptional technique and embouchure. He has a remarkable ability to produce a clean, focused sound across all registers of the clarinet. His embouchure is characterized by a firm and controlled grip on the reed, allowing him to produce a wide range of dynamics and tonal colors.

Bliss’s technique is also notable for his use of air support and breath control. He is able to sustain long phrases with ease and maintain a consistent tone throughout. His ability to seamlessly transition between notes and execute complex runs and trills is a testament to his mastery of the instrument.

Equipment and Set-Up

In addition to his technique and embouchure, Julian Bliss’s sound is also influenced by his equipment and set-up. Bliss plays on a custom-made Leblanc Bliss clarinet, which he helped design. The instrument features a unique bore design and is made of a combination of synthetic and wood materials, resulting in a rich and warm tone.

Bliss also uses a variety of reeds and mouthpieces to achieve different tonal colors and textures. He has worked closely with Vandoren to develop his own line of mouthpieces, which are known for their clarity and projection.

Overall, Julian Bliss’s tone and sound are a result of his exceptional technique, embouchure, and carefully curated equipment and set-up. His sound is characterized by its clarity, precision, and expressiveness, and has inspired a generation of young clarinetists.

Julian Bliss’s Repertoire

Julian Bliss is a world-renowned clarinetist who has excelled in various genres of music, from classical to contemporary and jazz. He has performed with some of the most prestigious orchestras and ensembles around the world. In this section, we will explore Julian Bliss’s repertoire and the various genres he has mastered.

Classical Repertoire

Julian Bliss is known for his exceptional performances of classical music. He has performed with several orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra. His classical repertoire includes works by Mozart, Brahms, and Weber, among others.

One of Julian Bliss’s notable recordings is Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, which he recorded with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. The recording received critical acclaim and was described as “sensational” by Signum Classics, the record label that released the album.

Contemporary Repertoire

In addition to classical music, Julian Bliss has also performed and recorded contemporary music. He has collaborated with several contemporary composers, including John Mackey, who wrote a clarinet concerto for him.

Julian Bliss’s contemporary repertoire also includes works by British composer Mark Simpson and American composer Eric Nathan. He has also performed works by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon.

Jazz Repertoire

Julian Bliss is not only a classical clarinetist but also a jazz artist. He has played with various jazz ensembles and has recorded several jazz albums. He is known for his interpretations of Benny Goodman’s music and has been compared to the legendary jazz clarinetist.

Julian Bliss’s jazz repertoire includes works such as “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” and “Don’t Be That Way.” He has also recorded his own compositions and arrangements.


Julian Bliss is a versatile and accomplished musician who has mastered several genres of music. His repertoire includes classical, contemporary, and jazz music, and he has collaborated with several composers and ensembles. Whether performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto or Benny Goodman’s jazz standards, Julian Bliss’s performances are always captivating and exceptional.

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