Posts from ‘Luthier Spotlight’
Our friends at Orfeo magazine have just published the English translation of a speech given in 1998 by the great luthier Daniel Friederich to the French Society of Acoustics Congress, held at the Cité de la Musique, Paris. One of Orfeo’s readers, Cristiano Borges, translated the speech. This article by one of the titans of 20thy century luthiery, entitled “The classical guitar soundboards and their bracing: The luthier´s dilemma – symmetry or asymmetry in the structural design of the soundboards”, will be of great interest to luthiers, but also to anyone who loves the guitar and its history. You can read the entire speech, which features many illustrations, photos and diagrams, by clicking here.
A while back we were contacted by two direct descendants of Antonio de Torres. They were making a film about Torres and asked if they could use some of our videos and photos of the many great Torres guitars we’ve had come through GSI over the years. We were of course more than happy to help, and now they need your help to finish the film. Check out their modest Kickstarter campaign and help them finish what looks to be a fantastic film about the man who developed the guitar as we know it.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Torres, and it is the perfect time to celebrate all things Torres. His instruments constantly astonish us with the quality of their sound and even the volume they produce. You can see some of the great videos we’ve shot on Torres guitars here, and you can read a bit about the man himself here, but be sure to watch the video below then click here and consider contributing whatever you can to this film about the man who contributed so much to the instrument we all love.
We had the chance to sit and talk with Amalia Ramirez about some of the new Ramirez models and a bit about the current state of Ramirez Guitars in general and the future of the shop. Amalia tells us about the new Antigua, Guitarra de Tablao, Guitarra Del Tiempo and Auditorio Trio models.
As you can imagine, over the years we’ve recorded more than a few great videos on guitars by Jose Ramirez – everything from brand new guitars to guitars from the middle of the last century and of course the 1969 Ramirez that was owned on played by Andres Segovia for ten years. Players have included Scott Tennant, Adam Holzman, Irina Kulikova, George Sakellariou, Tavi Jinariu and many more. We’ve complied a playlist of all of the videos we’ve produced featuring Jose Ramirez guitars and you can see them all here, or simply watch the video below and you’ll be on your way.
Here’s a great and very in-depth interview with Amalia Ramirez from Roseta Magazine, the magazine of the Spanish Guitar Society. Javier Suárez-Pajares discusses the history of Ramirez, Amalia’s personal involvement in some rough transitions during the 1980’s, and her vision for the future of the Ramirez brand. You can click here to read the article in Spanish, or continue to read the full article in translation below.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Teodoro Perez‘ career as a luthier, and he has created some extraordinarily beautiful instruments to mark the occasion. Unlike so many luthiers who began as sons of luthiers (and a few daughters in the current generation) or as frustrated guitarists, Perez started his apprenticeship in Franco’s Spain in the mid 60’s because he needed a job (times were very tough), and his father saw that the Ramirez shop was hiring. By 1970 he was qualified to build guitars for Ramirez and his guitars were stamped GPM. In 1991 he and fellow Ramirez shop veteran Mariano Tezanos teamed up and built under the Tezanos-Perez label until 2005. Currently he builds with his family – Son Sergio, daughter Beatriz and son-in-law Marco Tejeda.
Andy Culpepper grew up in a musical family with two brothers who are both accomplished musicians. He fell in love with the guitar as a teenager, shifting his focus from playing the Delta blues to playing classical music, and after discovering flamenco, he was hooked on the latter two styles for life.
German luthier Dominik Wurth made a pilgrimage of sorts when he found out we had acquired the Russell Cleveland Collection – he came to from Germany to GSI to play and study as many of these historic instruments as he could to see what he might learn from them. As you’ll read, one guitar in particular made a deep impression and has even influenced his construction method. We’ll have new instruments from Dominik very soon.
We’ve just received our first guitar from German luthier Florian Blochinger, who happens to be the son of the great luthier Edmund Blochinger. Florian not only brought us one of the best guitars we’ve ever seen by such a young luthier, he played the guitar beautifully, too. This comes as less of a surprise when you learn that in addition to his regular lessons Florian has been having regular master classes with family friend Pepe Romero since he began playing. In any case, this is an impressive debut and GSI is very happy to now represent both Blochingers in the US.
Here he is playing Tarrega’s Lagrima and Torroba’s Romance de Los Pinos on his new guitar.
Have you ever wondered how rosettes are made? Fernando Moreno just sent us some great photos of the entire process from design to completion of the rosette he made for the new guitar he’s finishing up for GSI. It’s a great look into one of the many painstaking tasks that luthiers undertake in order to create guitars that look as good as they sound.