Historical violin making exhibition
The Genovese School
May, 10 -June, 13
saturday may, 10 – 10,45 am
conference “La Scuola Genovese” – speaks Alberto Giordano
The origins of violin making in Genoa are rooted in the first half of the seventeenth century when the Guild of Instrument Makers was constituted; the members were mostly from the German area and they were actually luthe and guitar makers. Among them we can mention, Sebastian Angerer, Martin Heel, Hans Purkolzer, Andreas Statler.
The Eighteenth century represents the golden era for violin making in Genoa: around 1750 we count a good number of very active workshops that demonstrates an increasing demand of new instruments. Violin was getting very popular, and a sparkling musical activity was brewing over the city: that was the environment in which Niccolò Paganini grew up. The most important authors are Bernardo Calcagno, Davide Pizzorno, Jacopo Cordano, Giuseppe Cavaleri and Paolo Castello.
The turn of the century represented a very difficoult period for Genova and generally for northern Italy, as a result of the invasion acted by Napoleon.
The demand of new instruments fell down due also to the increasing exportation of cheaper items from France and Germany; the number of workshop was dramatically reduced and violinmakers mostly dedicated their activity to repair and restoration.
The first makers in the Nineteenth century who contributed to mantain the tradition of violin making were Lodovico Rastelli and Antonio Gibertini; then we mention Nicolò Bianchi who may be considered as the father of modern genoese luthery.
We reports the most important modern genoese authors: many of them are now highly considered in the violin trade for their creativity, for their unmistakable style, for their fine tonal features.
Graduated in Cremona in 1984 under the direction of V.Bissolotti, W. Zambelli and Stefano Conia, he attended Sesto Rocchi’s laboratory; later he continues his apprenticeship in the workshop of Joseph Curtin and Gregg Alf.Estabilished in Genoa in 1987, Alberto colaborates since 1994 to the preservation of the ‘Cannone’, the famous violin of Guarneri del Gesù owned by Niccolò Paganini, property of the City of Genoa.
In 2001 a copy of his made of the ‘Cannone’ was included in the last Ruggiero Ricci’s recording, ‘The legacy of Cremona’ in which the virtuoso plays a selection of contemporary violins.
In 2004 together with Bruce Carlson and Pio Montanari, he attend the violin of Paganini’s refurbishment also called the ‘Historical Recover’: modern accessories mounted on the Cannone about 50 years ago were removed from the violin in favour of exact replicas of the fittings originally used by Niccolò Paganini. The work is the result of Alberto’s intense researches in civic and private genoese archives and it was based on an in-depth analysis of the technical and organological features of the violin of Paganini (see Strad October 2004).
Member in juries of violin making competitions, a scholar of italian violinmaking, Alberto has scored a number of articles, essays, books; he was invited as a speaker in lectures in China, United Kingdom, France, Norway.
He has collaborated with the check coreographer Jiri Kylian for the opening of the new Norwegian Opera and Ballet Theatre in Oslo creating and making a serie of musical instruments for the opening ballet show “Worlds Beyond“.
In July 2011 he graduated with honours in the Conservation of Hystorical Heritage at the University of Genova, Faculty of Letters and Philosophy. Alberto is a contributor of ‘The Strad’ magazine.