Posts from ‘News’

May
08

We have photos of the first guitar being built for us by Julia Wenzel, who won the silver medal in last year’s Antonio Marin Montero Guitar Making Competition. The guitar she is building for GSI, like the guitar that won the competition (the finished guitar in the photos below), is a cedar and cypress classical built completely in the traditional Spanish style. Julia has been working with Florian Blochinger and considers Edmund Blochinger to be one of her mentors. She tells us that while making a canoe she realized her passion for woodworking, and went on to study at the ‘Instrumentenbauschule Mittenwald’ for three years and graduated top of her class. Six years later she completed her Master of Crafts Examination in Munich, Bavaria. Then last year she entered the Antonio Marin competition and won Silver. We are very excited to be representing Julia Wenzel in the US and look forward to receiving our first guitar from her.

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May
04

After poring over all of the submissions from talented young guitarists from all over the world we are extremely pleased to announce that the winner of the GSI Summer Arts Scholarship is USC student and Summer Arts alum David Steinhardt. In addition to being an outstanding young guitarist David gives back to the guitar community by hosting a podcast called Classical Guitar and Beyond and he will be coordinating the youth program at this year’s Guitar Hamilton festival.

You can watch the video that David submitted below – a performance of Bach’s Chaconne recorded in 2016 – and check out his bio as well:

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May
03

Here’s Chris Garwood showing off a brand new guitar from French luthier Jean-Noel Rohe. Rohe is seen by both Daniel Friederich and Dominique Field as the leader of the current generation of young French luthiers, and to date they would seem to be right. Rohe’s work is balanced and elegant in every respect, as you’ll hear from Chris’ demonstration.

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May
03

We’ve just had word of the passing of the great Spanish luthier Marcelino Lopez Nieto. Lopez Nieto got his start as a luthier like so many mid-century Spanish luthiers – as a cabinet maker. But he was also a serious guitar player – a student of Daniel Fortea no less – and became something of a renaissance man, continuing his guitar studies into advanced age and also becoming a painter and opera singer. He even delved into history, finding evidence that the guitar may have had its roots in 2nd Century Rome. And in addition to making fantastic classical and flamenco guitars Lopez Nieto was a collector with a very impressive collection, and he did quite a bit of restoration work as well. In all, his was a life in every way dedicated to the guitar and the arts, and his contribution to the history of the Spanish guitar was considerable.

You can learn more about Marcelino Lopez Nieto by checking out these two interviews – one from Orfeo magazine and the other from Andrea Garcia.

Apr
27

We’ve got photos of a guitar coming to us any day now from luthier Stephen Hill, who though English has been building in La Herradura, just outside of Granada, Spain, since 2004. The guitar is his Concert model in cedar and some stunning ziricote back and sides. This is his Granada style guitar, built in the traditional manner. On a related note, Sergio Valverde Castillo, who just won the first annual Antonio Marin Montero guitar making competition in Granada last Summer, was a student of Stephen’s at the European Institute of Guitar Making, and we’ll have one of his guitars coming soon as well. The Hill guitar is ready to ship to us and should arrive very soon!

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Apr
27

We have photos of the next guitar on its way to us from Swedish luthier Tobias Berg, who works and lives in Germany – a classical with some very interesting woods. The guitar has a spruce top and the back and sides are walnut with boxwood binding. The bridge is pau ferro and has a bit of yellow sapwood, as does the walnut back. And the neck has a lovely flame to it, (which Tobias laments isn’t captured very well in the photo). The guitar should be shipping to us very soon! We should note that photos of the cedar top are obviously of another guitar, but one that Tobias was making at the same time and that has the same bracing as the spruce guitar coming to us.

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Apr
23

As we await our first guitar from Sergio Valverde Castillo, winner of the the first Antonio Marin Montero Guitar Making Competition, we are very pleased to announce the 2nd annual competition, which will take place in Granada, Spain, from August 8 to August 10, 2018. In addition to the prizes, which include the winners having thier guitars sold by GSI, the competition is a fantastic opportunity to have your instrument evaluated by some of the top professionals in the field of luthiery as well as players and GSI president David Collett. You can get all of the details and registration info here.

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Apr
23

Here’s guitarist Daniel Marx playing four movements from Giovanni Zamboni’s Sonata IX on four different guitars: the Preludio on a 2018 Vladimir Druzhinin in cedar and African rosewood; the Giga on a Kenneth Brogger ‘1890 Torres’; the Sarabanda on a 2014 Sebastian Stenzel in spruce and maple; and the Gavotta on a 2018 Ethan Deutsch in spruce and ziricote.

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Apr
20

We have photos of the first guitar being built for GSI by Sergio Valverde Castillo, winner of the first Antonio Marin Montero Guitar Making Competition held in Granada last Summer. Sergio tells us that a turning point in his career was his time at the European Institute of Guitar Making – a month-long course taught by luthier Stephen Hill in La Herradura, Spain (outside of Granada), in which Pablo Requena was also teaching. He builds a traditional 7 fan brace guitar in the traditional Spanish style and says his main goals are perfect balance and symmetry in both sound and aesthetics. As GSI president David Collett was one of the competition judges we are very confident that this will be an exceptional guitar and are very happy to be representing Valverde Castillo in the US.

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Apr
17

We’re very excited to be a part of the first Los Angeles Guitar Festival, presented by our friends at EliteGuitarist.com. The festival takes place May 19, 2018, at The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA, and features concerts, workshops and competitions for students in the 7-12 age range and in the 13-17 age range.

Scott Tennant, Ines Thome and Taso Comanescu will perform and give workshops, and Chris Garwood and Kai Narezo will present workshops. Registration for the competition is open now through May 1, and you can register here.
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