In 1837, Gustave-Auguste Besson (1820-1874), a genius in acoustic science, created the Besson brand in Paris. His new cornet revolutionized the instrument and continues to influence ears, hearts and minds even today. His instruments became famous in Europe, and he has been accredited with over fifty inventions.
Following a long series of legal battles with Adolphe Sax, Gustave Auguste Besson left Paris to build a factory in London. Over the following years Besson continued to manufacture in Paris, London and also had warehouses for distribution in Brussels, Charleroi, Madrid and Barcelona. Gustave Auguste Besson died in 1874, the company changed its name and becomes Fontaine Besson in 1880 in France and Besson in England. At the same time, another english manufacturer became well known Henri John Distin born in London in 1819.
Henry Distin and his new flu gel horn were active in the development of brass bands in England. He created a new line of instruments under his own name and in 1872, the Distin brand was bought by Boosey (Manufacturer and publisher since 1792). DJ Blaikely, the inventor in 1878 of a compensating tuning system for valves collaborated with Distin. Together they developed a new range of horns and improved existing models.
In the 1930s in Paris, Strasser Margaux and Lemaire (SML) all produced instruments from Besson with Aubertin. In 1957, Couesnon bought the french company Fontaine Besson. In London,at the same time Boosey & Co and Hawkes & Sons of England merged to create Boosey & Hawkes group.
At the end of the nineteenth century (1894), the Besson factory of London employed 131 workers, producing 100 brass instruments a week and no less than 10 000 musical ensembles appeared on their contract lists. In 1925, Besson purchased Quilter and Wheatstone & Co in 1940. In 1948, the group Boosey & Hawkes acquired the Besson London brand. With cutting edge design and manufacture, Besson became the leading brand of euphoniums, cornets, tenor horns, baritones and tubas. Extensive research enables the company to produce the best valve instruments available today, along with an initiative range of rotary valve instruments.
By joining the Buffet Crampon group in 2006, Besson restructured and relaunched its production of professional instruments in Germany and France.
After the acquisition of B&S group by Buffet Crampon, all brass instruments are manufactured in Markneukirchen. Besson is still and more than ever the brand of the champions with a its leader positioning in brass bands. The TOP 5 brass bands in the world plays Besson instruments