François Kloc, a native of Beauvais, France, realized his interest in musical instrument production at a young age. Music was certainly nothing new to François, who at age seven began playing oboe and a year later was awarded the “Sujet du Royaume”, a national young talent competition junior award hosted by Radio France (French National Radio). In 1977, two years later, he competed again and won an intermediate award, the “Chevalier du Royaume.”
While studying at the Beauvais Music Conservatory, François began an intensive schedule of apprenticeships at Mignot in Paris and at Rigoutat, also in Paris. His time at Rigoutat was interrupted for 1 year when he served as a musician in the 8th Division of the French Infantry. François honed his repair skills, while also responsible for the maintenance and repair of all of the instruments in the Division.
Upon completion of his apprenticeships, François began working at the musical instrument retail store, Bertet, in Grenoble, France, as the woodwind and brass instrument technician. At the same time, he enrolled at the Institut Technologique Europeen des Métiers de la Musique, a European School for the instruction of musical instrument makers and technicians. In 1991, he became instrument technician and final finisher for oboes at F. Loree de Gourdon in Paris.
In 1995, François joined Buffet Crampon, the world famous French maker of oboes and clarinets and member of the Boosey & Hawkes group of companies. During his two years at Buffet Crampon, he and René Lesieux, Research and Development Manager for Buffet Crampon products, worked on innovations within the clarinet and oboe families. He also traveled to Germany to view and assess the manufacturing of bassoons and saxophones at Schreiber and Keilwerth.
François moved to the United States in January 1997 to work as Woodwind Product Specialist at Boosey & Hawkes Musical Instruments, Inc., the North American distributorship for Boosey & Hawkes group products. He became a major creative force at Boosey & Hawkes, implementing the Platinum Service, a quality control program, as well as providing feedback to the Buffet Crampon, Schreiber and Keilwerth factories.
In 2000, François became Manager of Woodwinds, North America, for The Music Group (previously Boosey & Hawkes). François was promoted to Director of Marketing for Buffet Crampon USA, Inc. in 2005 and was promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing in 2007.
François was named Vice President of Buffet Group USA in 2011 following the reorganization of the company into Buffet Group. He continues to lead the North American division of Buffet Crampon and its woodwind and brass brands and was named President and CEO in January 2014. In 2016, Buffet Crampon acquired world-renowned Verne Q. Powell flutes and François was named President of Powell with the acquisition. He is also manager of the company’s roster of performing artists and is a master woodwind technician. François was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the International Clarinet Association at the 2016 ClarinetFest in Lawrence, Kansas.
François is married to Sheila and they have 3 children, Felix (18), Lucy (16) and Charlotte (14). Francois is past president of the Alliance Française of Jacksonville and is the Honorary Consul of France in Jacksonville.