About Us

Welcome to K.GE REEDS CO., LIMITED.

 

WELCOME TO K.GE REEDS NEW  ONLINE STORE. AT K.GE REEDS WE SPECIALIZE IN OBOE, COR ANGLAIS, OBOE D'AMORE AND BASSOON ACCESSORIES AND INSTRUMENTS. OUR COMPANY IS NOW OVER 20 YEARS OLD AND DURING THAT TIME WE HAVE GROWN TO THE POINT WHERE WE HAVE CUSTOMERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

FROM PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS TO BEGINNERS, MANY DOUBLE REED PLAYERS OF ALL LEVELS ENJOY OUR PRODUCTS. ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN CONTINUALLY DEVELOPED AND NEW PRODUCTS ADDED TO OUR INVENTORY OVER THE YEARS AND YOU CAN FIND THEM ALL, RIGHT HERE, AT K.GE REEDS ONLINE STORE. 

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K.GE OBOE AND BASSOON REEDS AND TUBE CANE

 

Kexun Ge, the founder and Managing Director of K.GE REEDS, started his reed making business by himself, to support himself as an oboe student in London and later in Brisbane, Australia. He received great support and encouragement for his reed making from his oboe teacher, Anthony Camden.

Kexun’s business increased significantly in size when Kexun found a reliable source of quality cane in China and he soon opened a workshop in Shanghai to help him make his oboe reeds in the kinds of numbers that the market was demanding.

The business has now extended to include oboe and bassoon cane and bassoon reeds, as well as the manufacture of many of the tools associated with reed making. The most significant of these tools being the oboe reed profiler, designed by Kexun Ge himself.

The other most recent and very significant addition to our growing list of products, is the K GE (Australian designed) range of oboes, from student model synthetic body oboes to professional model oboes made from grenadilla wood.

The K.GE Oboe was developed originally from a design by Tony Ward, (originally from "Boosey & Hawkes" and "Ward & Winterbourne") and now the oboe is made 100% at our K.GE workshop in Shanghai by experienced workers for the last 10 years. We have been slowly developing aspects of the design along the way and now the oboe can be said to be truly a K.GE oboe, with a new shaped bell and some new key work recently being developed.

In approaching this project of developing our oboe, we have kept in mind the needs of professional oboe players, and we have used our own personal experience of exactly what musicians expect from their instruments. Our highly trained and motivated workforce in the K.GE REEDS Shanghai workshop enables us to offer this high quality instrument at a very competitive price.

CANE

Another important product of K.GE Reeds is cane. To produce reeds of consistently high quality, a good and reliable source of cane is essential. As a reed maker, it was vital to secure a reliable and high quality source of cane, which is precisely what Ke-xun has done. The cane used for Ke-xun's reeds comes from Anhui Province in China, which has been a famous cane-producing region since about 1960, supplying cane for local oboists, clarinettists and bassoonists. Ke-xun discovered that the climate of Anhui is very similar to that of the cane-producing Var region in France, and he also discovered that the cane from Anhui had much greater resilience and a higher fibre density than other canes, including the French cane. The cane from Anhui is generally of medium to medium hardness, while its texture is silky, fine and smooth, and its colour is yellow to golden brown. Above all, for a reed maker, the most important quality the cane possesses, is its consistency. 

REEDS

At K.GE REEDS, we only use wild cane that is picked by workers trained and employed exclusively by us. This cane undergoes a rigorous process of selection by our trained staff, and as a result we can assure our customers a very high usage rate. As an oboe reed maker, as well as a bassoon reed maker, Ke-xun has experimented with many different varieties of cane, and has come to the conclusion that the cane from Anhui is the best he has ever used. All of our reeds have been made with this cane for a long time now, and subsequently, the K.Ge brand has risen to be arguably the most respected and well-known brand in reed making in the world. Additionally, since making this tube cane available to our customers, it has rapidly grown in popularity internationally amongst many more oboe players, including professionals as well as oboe students.

PROFILER

Unlike other "profile" machines previously designed and sold by other makers, this machine completes the reed to a fully finished and playable state. It is really not necessary for the player to adjust the reed using a reed knife, as this machine has a variety of ways in which the reed can be adjusted to allow for the slight variations in cane density and opening of the reed, which both affect how hard a reed feels to blow. We believe that this machine is a revolutionary device, that will make the onerous task of reed making a much less time consuming one, and more importantly, a more predictable and profitable process. Thanks to the computer designed and generated template, the oboist will be confident that they are making perfectly balanced reeds time after time.


14/12/2005 -

 

Article as it appears in recent ADRS Magazine !!!  

KEXUN - A LIFE SO FAR 
I was born in the year of the cow in the autumn of 1961. I had a big brother who is 11 years older than me, and when my father died when I was 4 years old and my mother was busy working in a factory supporting us, my brother would walk me home from school. At school we sang patriotic songs in our class of 50 boys and girls and we learnt to love Chairman Mao. I was a hard working student who and I always finished my homework. When I was 10 years old I began to learn my first musical instrument, the "ehru", a traditional chinese instrument with two strings and a bow. I enjoyed it alot and practised every day.

I soon auditioned and was accepted on "erhu" at the local "children's palace", a school for the Arts, both traditional and modern. Foreign tourists would come to visit and the brightest children would be "shown off" by the proud administrators. I now had lessons twice a week with Mr. Wang , who was very strict. No matter, it was a great privilege for me or anyone to have lessons there. I played in a class with 15 others in a string or "erhu" band. 

One day when my friend Jing Xia and I were on our way to our lesson we were stopped on the stairway by some "officials" and then we were asked to open our mouths, and these people proceeded to inspect our teeth. They asked us to meet with them after our class with Mr. Wang. It so transpired that these "officials" were western classical music teachers from the Middle School of the Central Conservatorium of Music in Beijing and our meeting with them turned out to be an audition with ear tests involving singing and clapping. For three months we heard nothing more, which was quite disappointing as we both had dreams of studying western music in Beijing. But unknown to us they had been testing hundreds and thousands of children throughout Shanghai.
Then one day the school music teacher ran excitedly into my classroom and shouted in front of the whole class that I had been accepted into the Beijing Conservatorium! I had one week to get myself to Beijing as did my good friend Jing Xia, who had also been selected along with eight other children from Shanghai. It was a big thing to leave my family, I was only 12 years old, but my mother was very happy and proud that I should receive such a special opportunity. So from this time I was looked after by the school of music in Beijing.
When I arrived, I immediately began to take piano lessons and I was interviewed by every instrumental teacher and it was finally decided that I would study Oboe! Jing Xia, my best friend, took bassoon as his instrument and we would share a bunk in a room with eight others for the next three years. Altogether we studied six years in the Middle School or high school and then I moved on to tertiary for another four years. Other students at this time to study in my years were Tan Dun (composer - "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") and Lan Shui (chief conductor - Singapore Symphony).
I practiced long hours and of course struggled with reeds and some very primitive reed-making equipment. My gouger was a wooden block and a chisel for cutting and I used a rudimentary East German shaper. I had started to learn reed-making when I was 14 years old with cane from An Hui province, which is where I now get my cane for my reed-making business and I use it exclusively as I have found it better now than the French/Spanish grown cane that I persevered with for many years since.
In the middle school I learned to play Chinese melodies and studies. Only in the tertiary Conservatoriums were we allowed to play Western compositions for our instruments as the Cultural Revolution was in full swing before 1976 and we were banned from playing Western Music. Finally, after completing my studies, I won a job in the Shanghai Symphony and Jing Xia won a job in the Beijing Opera Orchestra.
The Shanghai Symphony was my first experience in an orchestra anywhere and I had to learn a lot very quickly! Many of the colleagues I met at that time are now some of my closest and oldest friends.
My next stroke of good fortune again came in the Year of the Cow (1985) when the Mayor of London (whose name escapes me) visited Shanghai. The Mayor of Shanghai gave him a gift, but he was unfortunately unprepared and had no gift to offer in return, and thus in a moment of inspiration , he had the idea to give a scholarship to a musician in the Shanghai Symphony to study in London at the Guild Hall School of Music.
As Anthony Camden was a good friend of his, he decided that the scholarship should go to an oboist, which is how I found myself at Heathrow Airport on January 6, 1986, after six months of red-tape, in which a valuable passport and visa had been procured. Unfortunately, nobody at the Guild Hall was there to meet me and in faltering English I managed to explain my predicament and after several phone calls by airport staff on my behalf, four hours later, someone from the Guild Hall came to meet me.
My teachers in London were John Lawley and then Anthony Camden, and after two years when my scholarship began to come to an end, I began my career as a reed-maker with the encouragement of John Lawley and Mike Britton from Howarth. This sustained me until Anthony Camden invited me to come to Australia. I liked it very much in Brisbane, and soon with Anthony's support, I applied for residency and the rest is history and K.Ge Reeds was born.
The wheel has now turned and now a large part of K.Ge Reeds business is based in Shanghai, with seventy employees both in the workshop and in the warehouse where the cane from An Hui province is stored, selected, prepared and matured. I have now found my own source of cane from there. The field is supervised by a local family and harvested each January by people from the local village.
I now have the opportunity to regularly visit my family and friends in Shanghai which I love doing even though my home is now in Melbourne with my beautiful wife Yoriko and our lovely daughter, Lana.

-Ke-xun

 Ke-xun is giving reeds making classes at the ADRS conference