I was born in Milan in 1967. From a musical family, I started playing the violin at the age of 7. My interest spread then to making and in 1987 I enrolled at the Civica Scuola di Liuteria di Milano under the guidance of Maestro Luca Primon. After graduating in 1991 I spent some time in apprenticeship to Luca Primon, and working in violin restoration in various music shops in the U.K.—eventually settling in Sheffield. Since then, I have worked as an independent maker dedicated to the production of high quality concert instruments, serving professional, amateur and student musicians alike.
The Way I Work
My approach to making combines a very traditional use of proportions, patterns and techniques, together with more scientific and technological procedures. The models I use are inspired by the classic Cremonese Masters and they are drawn according to geometric proportions, using among others the golden section (these methods were applied in all arts and crafts of the Renaissance, from the Villas of Palladio to the paintings of Leonardo). Each individual tone wood is carefully seasoned for several years, and is individually measured at various stages of the construction: frequencies, densities and weights are meticulously recorded for repeatability of results.
The combinations of these techniques gives you an instrument which is in harmony aesthetically as well as acoustically.
I constantly undertake research in order to develop the acoustic aspects and playability of my instruments and regularly attend international master-classes, which allow me to update my knowledge and compare my work with colleagues worldwide. In recent years I especially enjoyed the Oberlin violin making workshop, where around 40 among the best makers meet and work together for 2 weeks, with the help of leading acousticians and musicians alike.
With each instrument I make, I strive for the highest quality possible, and I am particularly interested in the contact with musicians, forming a dialogue that spreads widely from the choice of wood, model and varnish to the quality of sound, trying to understand what they are looking for and expect from an instrument that they may in the future own. I then continue to look after every instrument over the years, to make sure that it is playing at its best.
Silver Medal for Violin Tone
In 2004 I was thrilled to be awarded a Silver Medal for Violin Tone at the International Violin-Making Competition organized by the VSA.
To receive this award, 3 world-renowned Concert Masters, independently and for 3 consecutive rounds, reputed my instrument to be of the highest concert quality. This is an outstanding achievement out of 186 violins participating. During the Convention, some of the winning instruments were throughly acoustically examined and the results reported in the Journal Papers of the VSA.
In the recent years I have also been interested in building relationships and having direct contact with players, enjoying the feedback which is so necessary to improve.
I also strongly believe that the craft of violin making is a life time pursuit. The contact with other makers is therefore essential, stimulating and invaluable. To enhance and better my work, I regularly attend conventions and workshops. My favorite and the heart and soul of this exchange is Oberlin, a small college and Conservatory town in Ohio, where the VSAorganises some of the best workshops and gatherings of makers, acousticians and musicians. Every year, 40 among the best makers meet and work together for two weeks, sharing techniques, experimenting innovations and testing new equipment with musicians, scientists and acousticians. I believe this is the cutting edge of the violin-making world, and being part of it is always exciting, energizing and overwhelming!