Jun
05
Photos above and in gallery below courtesy of Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts, Pepperdine University, 2019

Our friends at Pepperdine University tell us that the 2019 Parkening International Guitar Competition was a great success, and we sure can tell it was a grand time by the photos the Parkening Competition team shared with us (check them out below!). As you may know, the Competition took place this past weekend in the beautiful facilities of the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University from May 28 – June 1. The closing ceremonies for the Young Guitarist Competition and the main division of the Parkening Guitar Competition took place on May 29th and June 1st respectively, and we’re thrilled to share the list of 2019 Parkening International Guitar Competition finalists with you here. You may recognize some of these names as regulars in the showroom:

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Jun
05

Our friends at EliteGuitarist.com have released a new tutorial of “Late at Night” recorded by Christina Sandsengen on a 2015 Federico Sheppard guitar. “Late at Night” by Sven Lundestad is a short composition, lyrical with jazzy overtones and a wonderful accessible melody. In this tutorial Christina Sandsengen will teach you how to play this piece both correctly and beautifully. Check out the soulful performance of this beautiful piece and the many other tutorials available at www.EliteGuitarist.com.

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Jun
03

Jose Vigil knows which photos you all want to see! Take a look at his latest creation that was recently completed with a gorgeous quarter-sawn, light (yet stiff) red cedar top and some drop-dead gorgeous CSA rosewood back and sides, which originated from an Italian yacht factory over 50 years ago. Tonewood of this caliber in the hands of a master builder like Jose Vigil is a match made in guitar heaven.

Jose decided to go the extra mile and accessorize this guitar with a beautiful set of Klaus Scheller tuners with snakewood buttons and a BAM case. We should have this Vigil guitar in our showroom in no time…

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May
31

Bertrand Ligier has just completed his next guitar for us, and has forwarded on a few pictures to give us a sneak peek of what is coming our way. After many years of seeing and playing guitars, it’s always a surprise to see what he has prepared for us – indeed we’ve never seen the same rosette twice from him (and they’re always extremely elegant, complex and perfectly executed), and we’re always curious to know what materials he’s selected for us. Something special about the wood on this guitar – Bertrand has used a gorgeous set of CSA rosewood for the back and sides that he selected from Dominique Field’s private stock. (Ligier also used CSAR from Field’s private stock for a 2018 model we had last year). This is quite remarkable when we realize that Dominique’s latest guitar for us was built with wood Field received decades ago from his predecessor, Robert Bouchet! We’re quite sure this guitar will sound as good as it looks, so be watching as we will list this instrument soon!

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May
28

Do you like wonderfully sculpted headstocks and artful rosettes? Well then, Elias Bonet’s latest instrument might just satisfy your eye’s need for such things.

Elias sent over these photos below of his third guitar for us (you can see his first two in our Store). This one, which should arrive shortly since it’s polished up and in its case by now, features a spruce top and African rosewood back and sides (yes, we like that tonewood as well!). This is the first guitar we’ll have by Elias with this particular combination; however, Elias is no stranger to building with exotic woods as his last guitar we had earlier this year featured Green Ebony back and sides. We’ll show you how this one plays once it’s safely in our hands. In the meantime, feel free to loiter in the gallery as long as you need in order to marvel at the headstock and rosette!

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May
24

You can now watch the complete performance of Manuel de Falla’s ‘Suite Populaire Espagnole’ by Taso Comanescu and cellist Yoshika Masuda on our YouTube channel (SUBSCRIBE)! This arrangement of the composition is based on Maurice Maréchal’s arrangement for cello and piano – which is itself modeled on Paul Kochanski and Falla’s arrangement for piano and violin. Originally named ‘Siete canciones populares españolas’ (“Seven Spanish Folksongs”) for voice and piano, it was later retitled ‘Suite Populaire Espagnole’, which is what we’ll call it, in its instrumental form (perhaps fancier in French). You may be wondering why there are only 6 videos and 6 guitars in them rather than “siete” (7); that’s because the instrumental arrangement omits song two and reorders them as follows: “El Paño Moruno”, “Nana”, “Canción”, “Polo”, “Asturiana” and “Jota”. Yoshika sounds amazing with such a nice cello, and we think Taso chose great guitars to compliment it; first up is a 2005 Fritz Ober, then a 2016 François Leonard, a historic 1912 Enrique Garcia, a 1971 Manuel de la Chica, a 2009 Tobias Berg and last but not least a 2017 Paolo Coriani.

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May
23

Winner of the 2nd prize at the prestigious Antonio Marin Montero Guitar Making Competition Julia Wenzel sent us photos of her new guitar that will be in the showroom shortly. Take a look! It’s coming from her workshop in Munich, Germany, from where she produces exceptional work. This instrument takes on a minimalist aesthetic and is overall subtle in appearance, but that only makes it understated and particularly stunning to us nonetheless! It is made up of a spruce top and is appointed with beautiful purfling (with green accents) that outlines the top and sides and matches the rosette perfectly. Simple yet sophisticated.

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May
23

It is with pleasure that our friends in Spain, Cristina and Enrique Ramírez – Amalia Ramírez’s niece and nephew – share the first trailer they produced for the upcoming documentary about the José Ramírez guitar-making family. Watch this 2-minute preview below, and you’ll see that the documentary will touch on how the guitar has survived thus far, plus it will undoubtedly detail the stamp that the Ramírez brand has left in the guitar world with 137+ years of work. The trailer was made for the Madrid Flamenco Festival, and the siblings will share with us (and you) all remaining trailers as the September premiere date approaches. We’re really thrilled for this as much as we’ve been for any other movie released this year (including “End Game”)… Stay tuned!

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May
21

Our friends from EliteGuitarist.com bring to you this performance and tutorial of Sergio Assad’s “Farewell”. The piece, played and taught here by Tavi Jinariu, is a deeply emotional one. Structured around repeating chord progressions and recurring motifs, “Farewell” provides ample opportunities for tonal and phrase explorations. Go to the next level in your musical interpretation as Tavi Jinariu explains his tonal, phrasing and fingering choices in this Elite Guitarist tutorial.

For the performance video, you can hear and watch Tavi play on our 2015 Federico Sheppard “Camino Dos Bocas” guitar.

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May
20

Our friends at Orfeo Magazine just released their latest issue titled “Italia Special”, and in it (you guessed it!), Orfeo takes us on its second trip to Italy. The first feature covers the Lodi family, with the restoration/construction specialist Gabriele Lodi at the helm explaining the sound he looks for in his instruments. Then, Enrico Bottelli tells of how he used to build steel-string acoustic guitars until he was inspired by Romanillos’ work to build classical instruments exclusively (and we must say, his designs from guitar to inlay details to sound are exquisite!). Paolo Coriani is another luthier who tells of his start building steel-string acoustic guitars (and hurdy gurdies: violin-like stringed instruments, which we advise you look up), but then Ramirez’s and Torres’ works convinced him to switch to making the classical guitars we all enjoy today.

This issue packs something extra special; aside from the lives and work of these familiar guitar-makers, we learn about the stringmaster Mimmo Peruffo, who is one of the rare makers of gut strings still left in the world – he explains why he continues to produce gut strings over nylon. We also get a glimpse of the Val di Fiemme forest – a fantastic source for tonewood, from which many Italian luthiers (including Stradivarius) have drawn material to construct the instruments we know and enjoy playing!

Read the full Orfeo No. 13 – Italia Special issue here.

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