Posts from ‘Feature Articles’

Apr
12

Alberto Martínez, editor in chief for Orfeo Magazine, was very lucky to do the reportage in this 15th issue just before the pandemic restrictions took effect. Alberto tells us that it was very surprising to meet all the luthiers covered in this edition – they mostly work in tiny workshops throughout Japan. Having done this type of field research for all other 14 issues prior to his one, Alberto did encounter one problem: a language barrier as virtually no one spoke English! By chance, Mr. Motoyama, the owner of Aura Guitar Shop, speaks Spanish, and he was Alberto’s interpreter during all interviews.

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Apr
12

Luthier and organologist MARIO GRIMALDI from Crotone (Italy) in his book dedicated to Pietro Gallinotti (1885-1979) reports that this luthier from Solero, as far back as 1952, had built a guitar with a soundboard made from Thuja Plicata, a wood also known as Western Red Cedar. This guitar was awarded a prize in a lutherie competition in Torino that same year. This guitar pre-dates by at least ten years the famous instruments from the Jose Ramirez III shop in Madrid, which has traditionally been credited as the first to use this material for the soundboard.

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Jan
06

You may have seen the videos we produced with the incredible Brazilian guitarist/composer Guinga. What you may not have known was that during the filming of these videos, NPR had sent reporter Betto Arcas to get the full story of this legendary, soft-spoken and until now, somewhat obscure musician. JohnPaul, sales manager from GSI, had lived in Brazil in 2009 and had an encounter with Guinga’s music early on and was happy to share his first experience of Guinga’s music for this piece featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, which you can also hear below. We were very happy to host Guinga and have NPR use GSI for their interview. Many thanks to Guinga, Betto, Vera Ludmila, and Allison Van Etten for their collaboration to make this all come together.

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Dec
02

Orfeo Magazine invites you to visit Markneukirchen, a small, almost forgotten German town, where for the last 350 years all the orchestra instruments have been manufactured. It is also the homeland of C.F. Martin and Richard Jacob “Weissgerber”. In this issue, you will also visit three excellent workshops who follow the tradition of Markneukirchen builders: the Gropp, Waltner and Schneider workshops.

To read the full Orfeo #14 issue, check out the Orfeo Issuu publication in English, and in the meantime, here’s a special preview below!

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Nov
08

We’ve known Fructuoso Zalapa for several decades, and his guitars continue to be as popular as ever with the GSI staff (who have personally owned his instruments) and with the countless players and fans of his work who have had the opportunity to play or own one of his instruments. Each guitar we receive is both exotically-pleasing to the eye and robust in sound. Despite already having won numerous awards over the years for his work, Fructuoso was recently honored again with another prestigious award by the Mexican (Michoacán) government.

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Sep
19

Our good friend Alberto Martinez, the man behind the camera of “Orfeo Magazine” will soon be receiving formal acknowledgement for his contribution to the classical guitar community. For several years Alberto has been tirelessly presenting the inside pictoral stories of so many of todays top luthiers and will receive the “Golden Guitar” Award at the 24° Convegno internazionale di chitarra di Milano on October 5, 2019 in Milan, Italy. Well done Alberto from all of us not just at GSI but throughout the world of classical guitar who have become familiar with, and grateful for, your work.

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Aug
14

Once again we attended the 2019 “3rd Antonio Marin Guitar Making Competition EGF” (European Guitar Foundation, with Vicente Coves as director) in Granada, Spain. Both GSI’s David Collett and Kai Narezo attended the event as they were both selected to be part of juries for the competition. David was on the classical jury, headed by jury president José Marín Plazuelo (Spain) joined by master luthier Edmund Blöchinger (Germany), master luthier/repairman Yuris Zeltins (USA), guitarist and dealer Alberto Cuéllar (Spain/China), and classical guitarist in residence José Luis Morillas (who also did all the performing on the classicals). For the Flamenco Guitar category, in addition to Kai, the jury included jury president and Madrid luthier Manuel Cáceres (Spain), pedagogue Julio Castaños (Spain) and the flamenco guitarist in residence Alberto Lopez, who did all the performing on the flamencos.

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May
14

<— Go back to Jack Silver, Pt. 3

By Jack Silver

In this series of vignettes, I will be presenting a panorama of artists whose names have for the most part been totally effaced by the passage of the years, but whose artistry has been fortunately preserved on shellac. I am borrowing the title of this survey from Robert Vidal’s pioneering collection of LPs, “Panorama de la Guitare”, released on Erato in beautiful gatefold editions between 1969 and 1978. Never unavailable on CD, it has happily been recently released in a box set, with wonderful performances by such artists as Turibio Santos, Oscar Caceres, Konrad Ragossnig, Barbara Polasek, Leo Brouwer, Betho Davezac, the duo Pomponio-Zarate, and, significantly, an artist who first recorded in the 78 era, Maria Luisa Anido.

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May
03

<— Go back to Jack Silver, Pt. 2

Through encounters with aficionados who held rare recordings in their possession to particular items he found himself, our friend Jack Silver tells of how the Segovia and His Contemporaries series of recordings came to fruition on the DOREMI label. After discovering one Segovia recording, Jack’s idea took flight. Enjoy the third installment of Jack’s story as he shares his life as a collector, and stay tuned for Part 4, which we’ll release in the coming weeks.

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Apr
01

<— Go back to Jack Silver, Pt. 1

In Pt. 2 of Jack’s unique story, through all of his encounters with classical guitar recordings, he is able to very closely trace back to when the first recordings may have been captured, basing it on extensive research and using items in his collection as reference points. Jack notes that the vast bulk of classical guitar recordings were made after the development of electrical recording in 1925; nevertheless, in a sea of mass-produced, dispensable products today, it is nice to learn about these rare treasures that still exist on a rare medium and serve as recordings to admire.

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