200 years of Ramponi & Cazzani: "This is how we give our saxophones their soul"

This is going to be a special edition of Cremona Musica for “Rampone e Cazzani”, leading brand for high-quality saxophones, that this year is celebrating 200 years of business. We interviewed their owner, Claudio Zolla, to know more about their amazing history and their plans for Cremona Musica, where they are exhibiting also the products of some friend-brands.


Can you tell us how is your activity born and how does it develop?

It is born in the small village of Quarna Sotto, where a great tradition of wind instrument developed. Some ancestors of ours, very skilled in woodworking, took over the business of a flute shop. In this village, there were all the conditions to run a business like that: hardwoods, the raw materials, artisan skills, and the driving force of water. The business then developed with Angelino Rampone, who was one of the first saxophones producers. He knew Adolphe Sax, the inventor. Here in Quarna we have some prototypes of saxophones on which he was working in 1875, around 25 years after its invention. After the World War II they merged with Cazzani, there were some difficult years, then the business was sold to another entrepreneur, until in 1990 my father decided to take over the company, as it was founded by our ancestors. Then we decided to focus on saxophones, producing fewer clarinets and others winds. Now the 98% of our production is devoted to saxophones.

 

What are the peculiarities of your products?

We have a sound in mind, and we always try to reach it through our recipes, made of material and emotional ingredients, that we combine to obtain what we are looking for. A great peculiarity is the geometry of the tube, for instance. While the ones of the others are more or less always the same, we have our own geometry. We also use gold and silver leaves, and much of the work is still hand-made, also the “massage” of the tube, for instance. This is how we give our saxophones their soul.

 

There are some famous saxophonists that are particularly connected with your company?

Of course, we collaborate with many of the most important musicians, such as Eddie Eddie Daniels, Jan Garbarek, Chris Collins, and last year we took David Brutti to Cremona… I could go on for a while…


Are you working on some new project for your 200th anniversary?

We are preparing some surprises for our customers, we are working on new models and accessories.


What are you expecting from Cremona Musica?

This is our third year in Cremona, as this is an ideal place for winds too. We are happy that Cremona Musica opened their doors to this sector, and I hope they grow and attract more and more brands. Recently we started importing in Italy some foreign brands, including RZ clarinets, a brand that we consider the “Rampone e Cazzani” of the clarinets. We also invited a world-renowned clarinetist, Milan Rericha, who is giving a masterclass on 29 September.