We met French-Ukrainian guitar builder Youri Soroka at the 2nd International "Antonio Marin Montero" Guitar Building Competition
in Granada, Spain in 2018 and were immediately impressed with both the person and his work, and indeed ordered our first guitar from him at that time. He returned to Granada again in 2019 where he took second prize
in the same competition.
Youri’s backstory is almost as beautiful as the look and sound of his instruments. Here he describes how he went from a career in technology to falling in love with the craft of guitar building:
"I was a computer software developer and came to guitar making by accident. Initially, I just wanted to repair my old classical guitar which led me to retable it. Impressed by the resulting sound and having then bought a few tools, I wanted to build one entirely from scratch. I completed my first guitar in less than a month working at night in my garage. Then the second, then third… I was starting to fall in love with the process. At some point, I realized that this was really something I wanted to do for a living as this was the first time in my life – when at work – I was saddened by the fact that it was 6 p.m. and time to go home. I always admired traditional and historical woodworking, and starting from my third build, I tried using hide glue and traditional methods for overall construction. Since then, I’ve stuck with these methods. Another thing important to me is building guitars in a planet friendly way with the least waste generated possible and no chemicals used – no gluing bindings with scotch, etc. The main ingredients are wood, hide glue and shellac. This also led to my interest in using local woods."
For this guitar, Youri decided to revisit the body plan of the instrument that won him 2nd prize in the Granada Guitar Making Festival in 2019 but for this one he’s decided to make a 4 piece back (instead of 3) and has selected a beautiful set of Indian rosewood with dramatic grain patterning (that almost looks like CSA rosewood). Youri has also been increasingly enamored with the instruments of Antonio de Torres and this influence is very clearly felt and heard in this guitar which has a noticeably lightweight build, giving it immediate sound when the string is ever so slightly moved. It has a huge, rich bottom-end and thick, creamy trebles. It has great power as well - this could easily fill any concert hall. Youri’s attention to detail and excellent French polish work give this instrument a very clean fit-and-finish, indeed all aspects of his build are well-executed and firmly traditional and yet his personal touch is evident at the same time. As with previous instruments Youri has sent us, this is a substantial instrument considering this maker is so early in his career.
Photos taken during construction.