Kenneth Brogger is Denmark's top builder - and one of Europe's best makers - of traditional Spanish-style guitars in his generation. He has been active for over a quarter of a century as a luthier, writer, restorer of old instruments and museum exhibitor. As a result of his tireless efforts, Brogger has become highly regarded in his native country, and was honored by the Queen of Denmark in 1997 when he was awarded the "Applied Arts Prize of 1879" and a silver Hetsch Medal, the highest recognition in the field of artisan craftsmanship. His building style is very reminiscent of the old Spanish masters (Garcia, Simplicio, Fleta) yet shows signs of the French and Granada schools (Bouchet, Friederich, Marin) as well.
For the last several years, Kenneth has regularly attended an annual musical instrument fair in Cremona (the city most often associated with the famous violin maker Antonio Stradivari) in North Italy. At the fair in 2011 there was a group of original heavily ornate Stradivari violins that caught Kenneth's attention, and one violin in particular provided the inspiration behind the design of this current guitar. Click here for the full story behind this model, and to see photos of the original violin. Basically, Kenneth decided to make a guitar with the same inlay pattern of alternating circles and rhombus shapes with genuine mammoth tusk around the border of the soundboard just as Stradivari did. The same motif in the interior and exterior of the rosette. In both the rosette and tie-block mosaic is an "S" shape - of course a tip of the hat to Stradivari! The result is a striking design, with an aesthetic hitherto unseen in the guitar world. To round it out, Kenneth added an ebony inlay in the rosewood head (no relief), and how beautifully it complements the fingerboard and the machine buttons. We congratulate Kenneth on this effort - both the design and the execution to his same uncompromising, perfect standard. Materials chosen for this guitar are absolutely beautiful as always. Overall, an aesthetic masterpiece. The sound is quite complex - it is warm yet clear, with a beautiful, lyrical quality in the treble that is found in older instruments, for which Kenneth has great fondness. Basses are full and round. Overall, a very satisfying and beautiful tone across all registers.