This last week marked the 2nd International “Antonio Marin Montero” Guitar Building Competition hosted by the European Guitar Foundation. Once again, our own David Collett was part of the prestigious panel of judges which consisted of many familiar faces including luthiers Edmund Blochinger, Jose Marin Plazuelo, Yuris Zeltins and guitarist Scott Morris. Other jury members included famous Spanish guitar makers and players Jose Miguel Moreno, Julio Castanos, Manuel Caceres, and Alberto Cuellar.
Olivia Chiang was back at GSI for a few more videos before beginning her studies at USC in the Fall. We shot our first video of Olivia back in 2012, when she was only 12 years old – you can see her first video here, which was also a Bach piece – so it was great to see her one last time before she begins her studies in the Fall. Here she plays Bach’s Prelude in E Minor, BWV 996, on a great 2014 Pepe Romero guitar in redwood and Indian rosewood, and Cullare la Tempesta by Scott Ouelette on a 2015 Paulino Bernabe ‘Torres’ model in spruce and maple. It’s been so much fun watching Olivia grow as a player and we look forward to seeing more of her in the coming years!
“There once was a time when guitars made in China were considered inferior offerings by far. Now, La Cañada Model 115 is only the latest to offer a formidable challenge to this old notion. The guitar feels and sounds just like a good instrument should, and has been French polished to boot. While it would make an outstanding choice for the student player, the Model 115 would also make a reliable companion for the professional performer.”
In 2015, Felipe Conde Guitars was featured in Iberia Magazine to celebrate its 100th birthday and the re-issuing of Domingo Esteso’s 1915 model. Read the article above to learn about the Conde family’s rich history of guitar building, famous guitarists who have played their instruments, and the bright future that rests in the hands of María and Felipe Jr.
As I arrived in Granada a few weeks ago I learned of the passing of our good friend and great luthier Bernd Martin. Martin – everyone in Granada just called him Martin – arrived in Granada in 1976 and was the first expat to establish himself as a luthier here in this city that has now been home to so many luthiers from all over the world. Martin embraced the Granada style and began building beautiful guitars – classical and flamenco – that went to clients all over the world.
Here – quite apprpriately, given the recent passing of Bernd Martin – is Wesley Park playing Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s desiring on a beautiful Bernd Martin 40th Anniversary model guitar in spruce and CSA rosewood. The 40th Anniversary models were a limited run of 8 guitars built by Bernd to celebrate 40 years of luthiery (1976-2016) and we were lucky to have seen two of them.
Check out the latest tutorial from our friends at eliteguitarist.com – Dr. Ines Thome walking us through Fernando Sor’s study Op. 35 No. 13 (or #2 in the Segovia numberings) that focuses on separating the melody from other voices in the piece. A great etude for improving right-hand accuracy and learning to bring out a melody. Ines plays a fantastic 2016 Luis Fernandez de Cordoba guitar in spruce and CSA rosewood. Click here to buy the lesson.
Few things are as fun as getting to meet, play and record a Torres. The historical significance of these instruments is pretty awesome, especially when you consider that all Torres guitars have been around for the entire history of the modern guitar and in many cases have played a direct role (most Torres guitars have been owned and played by significant figures in the history of the guitar). And then there’s the sound, which is almost always astonishing, especially for such old and relatively small instruments.
Eliza Carrington just graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory and has been making a name for herself in both the classical and pop worlds. She stopped by the showroom recently and recorded a few videos for us, including her own piece Gardenia, played on a great new Felipe Conde CC 36 in cedar and cocobolo and Clarice Assad’s Lullaby on a 2017 Fructuoso Zalapa ‘Romanillos’ model in spruce and cocobolo.
As we look forward to the release of Scott Tennant’s CD of Segovia’s music recorded on the 1969 Jose Ramirez 1a ‘AM’ that was owned by Segovia, we came across this video of Segovia himself playing the guitar. The video is from a 1972 documentary apparently made for Italian television, but we were very excited to see that there was Segovia playing the very guitar that wound up in the Russell Cleveland collection and subsequently at GSI, where we recorded Scott’s CD, as well as some other videos with great players (you can see them all here). Scott’s Segovia CD is being published by Guitar Coop and will be released soon! Watch at 0:34 in the video to see the camera zoom in and show the serial number of the guitar – No. 3,339.