Posts from ‘Feature Articles’
Very few names have been as influential in the development and history of the guitar as the name José Ramírez. The family tradition was born around the year 1870, when a 12 year-old boy began an apprenticeship at a local builder’s workshop. He worked to develop his skills and in 1882 he founded the José Ramírez workshop. Now in its fourth generation, with Amalia Ramírez carrying on the legacy, the Ramírez name continues to be the gold standard by which all other Spanish classical and flamenco guitars are measured.
Here, we have compiled a brief but robustly informative history of the José Ramírez dynasty, which so grandly continues to impress historians, audiences and players alike for its output of guitars that capture the Spanish tradition and soul. To go more in-depth into each generation’s special contributions to the guitar and the famous workshop, click on each individual.
“It’s not just a gimmick – this is a varied and delightful set of waltzes” – C.D. (reviewer at Classical Guitar Magazine)
“A Dream Comes True” by Finn Wandahl
It was in the summer of 1972. I was a young, promising guitarist at 17 years of age who had just passed the entrance examination for the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music and was now spending the summer in Nice where French guitar virtuoso Alexandre Lagoya had been offering masterclasses every summer. I had not yet fully developed my technique and thus got to play for Lagoya only once. However, I did attend his master class lectures and was even taught by his assistant, a young French guitarist named Yves Chatelain. The lessons were held outdoors, in a wonderfully lush cloister garden porticoed on all sides. It was in these beautiful surroundings, where the lifelong dream of a guitar came to my young mind. Continue Reading
John Gallo, a fine art photographer and photo essayist, has recently completed a piece on English luthier Brian Cohen. Titled “The Six Strings of a Guitar”, Gallo’s essay tells the story of how a guitar is born; specifically: the 2014 Brian Cohen that just passed through our showroom. The essay is expected to be featured in National Geographic later this year or early next year, but John has graciously allowed us to showcase his work on our blog for you to view in advance.”The Six Stings of a Guitar” is a unique artistic piece that beautifully captures the essence of luthierie as both an art and a craft, and we are grateful to John Gallo for allowing us to share this one-of-a-kind experience with you.
“Guitar Aficionado Magazine” has done a feature article about Guitar Salon International in their September/October 2015 issue! The article includes an interview with David Collett, President of GSI as well as with Tim Miklaucic, owner and CEO of GSI and Cordoba Music Group. We would like to thank the team over at Guitar Aficionado Magazine for not only featuring us in their publication, but also for allowing us to use their images to share with you. Read the full article below.
At the foot of Mallorca’s highest mountain, Puig Major (1450 meters) in the Sóller Valley, the beautiful little medieval village Fornalutx is surrounded by lemon and orange groves. It is so beautiful that it has been repeatedly named Spain’s best kept village. It is said that the world’s largest and best oranges come from here – and now also some of the world’s finest guitars. Kenneth Brögger has established a second guitar workshop in this beautiful village, where Chopin said: “If paradise exists on earth – then it must be here!”. The workshop is situated in a house that appears exactly as it was when it was originally built in 1900 – original, “primitive” and charming. Only five steps up the stairs from the main hall is Kenneth’s new Spanish workshop. Perhaps the world’s smallest professional guitar workshop (7.4 square meters) – or at least one of them – is where he builds one (maximum two) guitars at a time, due to limited space. Pure vacation has never had much appeal to Kenneth, so he is much happier to be able to work when he travels with his family here to southern Europe. Kenneth will be keeping his current workshop in Denmark running and will be splitting his time and work between the two locations. Please view the photos to see the new location as well as Kenneth at work building a guitar with walnut back and sides – GSI will have one of these later this year.
Felipe Conde and his children Maria and Felipe Jr., who now work full-time in the shop along with their father, are featured in the April issue of Iberia Excelente magazine, which you’ll find if you happen to be flying business class on Iberia. We also have some great photos of Felipe Jr. and Maria working in the shop.
We have a new guitar coming soon from Baltimore-based luthier Ross Gutmeier, and we’re particularly interested to hear that after building double-top and otherwise ‘modern’ guitars for many years Ross is returning to a more traditional approach after spending some time with an early 1920’s Santos Hernandez. We asked Ross about that, and here’s what he had to say:
“Yes, I am starting to move away from double tops. I’ve just never been able to capture exactly the sound I wanted from that type of construction. Ever since I played an early 1930’s Santos I saw at the 2007 GFA convention, I’ve been infatuated with the sound. I tried for years to replicate what I saw and heard but wasn’t quite able to pull it off.