This is the second of two instruments that Edmund Blöchinger built nearly side-by-side, using a flitch set of CSA for the back and sides, but using two different (and equally ancient) tops for each one. A couple of weeks before this instrument arrived, we had received the first of these, his “Dome” guitar with the sister set of back and sides to this pine, which itself has its own incredible back-story that you can read here. But let us turn to this pine-topped instrument, which is an entirely different marvel unto itself also with its own compelling background.
Edmund Blöchinger’s “Dome” guitar has a very intriguing back story, so we thought it would be a great piece of information to share with everyone. Among the fascinating details about this instrument, it is notably interesting that the soundboard comes from the spruce beams that resided for over 450 years in the roof of the Frauenkirche in Munich, Germany – probably the most iconic structure in that city that tourists today flock to with their selfie sticks and zoom lens cameras. From these antique spruce beams is where the story of this guitar begins…
You’re in for a week of concerts, lectures, workshops, competitions and more at the 2017 GFA Convention in beautiful California State University, Fullerton. The Convention is set from June 19-24 and will be hosted by guitar masters Martha Master and Andrew York. Registration and housing close in a few hours – on June 1st – so don’t miss your chance to reserve your spot.
Orfeo Magazine’s 9th issue celebrates Antonio de Torres‘ 200th anniversary. This issue is all about Torres from cover to cover, including great details about his upbringing, his start as a luthier, his influences and other personal information. Orfeo puts a spotlight on five famous Torres guitars, describing their construction, materials and history, including the 1856 “La Leona”, 1858 “Cumbre”, 1859 guitar owned by Miguel Llobet, 1862 papier maché guitar and the 1864 guitar owned by Francisco Tárrega. To finish off, we get leading authority and expert José Luis Romanillos‘ take on Torres’ works and testimonies from concert guitarists Stefano Grondona, Wulfin Lieske and Carles Trepat who play Antonio de Torres guitars. This issue, full of information about Torres, is a must-read! Click here to read the full issue.
When I heard we were doing staff picks, I thought: Which videos come to mind right away, without any second guesses? Which ones have recently caught my attention the most? It was tough narrowing it down to five videos, but then again my picks change every few months, so these are just the five I can loop on YouTube for days (as of now). This is also a great way to introduce friends to these videos as a sampling of the classical guitar, so enjoy:
The Bihać Summer Guitar Workshop (June 24-25, 2016) is a two-day event set in the town of Bihać, which is located on the banks of the river Una, looking towards the beautiful mountains of western Bosnia and Herzegovina. The workshop is open to anyone who wants to participate, and this year it included two days of group classes, private lessons, and three evening concerts, including a student concert on the final day of the workshop. All classes take place at the “High School for the Arts” located in downtown Bihać, while all the evening performances take place at the AVNOJ Museum hall adjacent to the school.
Elemental Guitar, the newest addition to the Elemental Music program in Santa Monica, is heading into its second year under the direction of long-time GSI-friend, Mak Grgić. The program, for students in grades 3-6, features unique guitar classes that are designed to give each student a solid foundation in classical guitar technique, musicianship, and most importantly ensemble playing. For Elemental Guitar’s inaugural season, GSI helped the program get started by donating several Loriente guitars for students that were in need of a good instrument yet financially unable to purchase a suitable guitar. We’re thrilled to see a program like this one – with a low student to teacher ratio, high quality instruction, and engaging programs – develop and flourish in our very own backyard.
If you are located in the Santa Monica area and would like to receive more information on this program and know how to get your child involved, please visit Elemental Music’s website.
Danish luthier Kenneth Brögger has just returned from a recent visit to the world’s largest dealer of exotic tone-woods for musical instruments, Maderas Barber in Valencia, Spain. Since 1974, Kenneth has purchased most of the wood used to build his fine concert classical guitars (including his famous “Torres” replicas) there in the outskirts of Valencia. On this trip, Kenneth bought some beautiful flamed maple – fine straight-grained, even-colored with no runout – along with some beautiful bearclaw spruce for soundboards, and also Zirocote, Amazon Rosewood and Indian Rosewood for backs and sides.
Only the most rare and highly-reputed guitars from across eras of the past receive great attention to the extent that players, recording artists and collectors share a common language in expressing just how valuable a guitar is – not in a monetary sense, but in the way that particular guitar’s presence fills the room, in the way its presence inspires a player and in the way the character of the guitar is simply like none other encountered before. Such guitars that come to mind are very special in our books, for example: the famous Antonio de Torres “La leona” (see Fritz Ober’s replica), the 1927 Francisco Simplicio SP/CSAR and the 1957 Hermann Hauser II (ex. Julian Bream) to name very few. However, one very special guitar made an appearance in our showroom recently amongst a legendary, rare and astonishing collection, and it has received attention in ways we could not have imagined.
Written by: Finn Wandahl | Photos by: Kenneth Brögger
The Danish luthier Kenneth Brögger was the fortunate owner of an original Antonio de Torres guitar from 1890, number SE 144, for five years – the exact one that GSI had in their showroom. This provided him the opportunity to study and examine this magnificient instrument in every possible detail, and in the process Kenneth learned a great deal about Torres and his work. Actually, Brögger has studied and copied a number of other Torres guitars, but this particular model interested me because of its simple, elegant style and outstanding sound. I therefore ordered one of Kenneth’s replicas of this lovely instrument. It is a little bit smaller than a modern guitar, but it is really no problem once you are playing. This Torres (and Kenneth’s copy) actually feels very nice and easy to play. GSI has seen many of Brögger’s Torres replicas pass through their showroom – check them out. This particular guitar is yet another special addition to Brögger’s masterful legacy.