Luigi Locatto has been building guitars for the last 25 years out of Turin, in northern Italy. In addition to making guitars, he is also a guitarist and teacher. His artisty as a luthier has attracted several top collectors for restoration work which has allowed him access to some of the most prized vintage instruments in the world. His restoration work has prompted him to build replicas of many instruments, and he has made copies of Panormo, Lacote, Simplicio, Garcia, Torres, Fleta, Hauser and Ramirez. He credits Torres, Garcia and Simplicio in particular as his most important influences. Although his foundation in style is rooted in these traditional makers, particularly with regard to tone color and expression, he is at the same time attentive to contemporary concerns, primarily in ensuring that his instruments have the improved power, projection and balance that modern concert artists require.
This absolutely breathtaking and meticulously built guitar is Locatto's own design. Structurally, some elements are taken from the work of Miguel Simplicio (the son and successor of Francisco Simplicio) primarily with regard to his technique of treating the top in such a way as to help make the first string more balanced to the second and third. As per Locatto's style, the decorative elements are inspired by an assortment of other great Spanish guitar makers of the past - in particular of some of Torres' more elaborate first epoch guitars, with busy decorative elements and tasteful use of mother-of-pearl in the rosette, head veneer, tie-block and purfling. It has a very low body resonance (close to F natural) that produces a sound that is powerful, dark and beautiful. It is an expressive instrument, rich with color and sensitive to change of timbre, like the old Spanish guitars he so much loves. Materials used are drop-dead gorgeous, particularly the stunning set of CSA rosewood used for the back and sides which has been aged for over 50 years. His instruments are played by a large number of concert artists, and have been used on several recordings, most notably the Naxos release of Castelnuovo-Tedesco's works by Lorenzo Micheli (winner of GFA 1999), and of Shin-ichi Fukuda's 2007 recording of Barrios and Villa-Lobos for Meister Music. Luigi's son, Pietro Locatto has also become a very fine player and his recent recording on the Stradivarius label of the music of Torroba was recorded on one of his fathers guitars.
We'd also like to congratulate Luigi for receiving the "Golden Guitar" award from the Convention of Alessandria in 2019, along with our friend Alberto Martinez from Orfeo for photography, among others. We're very happy to be working with this fine maker and representing his instruments in the US.