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Violin Maker
Andrea Giovannetti

Florence, Italy

Andrea Giovannetti was introduced to violin making at a young age and dedicated himself to violin making to reach the professional level. He workedunder the private tutelage of Master violin maker Luca Primon and later started a learning relationship with Master violin maker Gianmaria Stelzer.
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Short Bio

Full Name: Andrea Giovannetti

Age: 36

Highlights

Experience: 7 Years

New making style: AntiquedCopy

Credentials

Rising Star-Maker

Background as a Musician

Innovative Maker

Cremonese Traditional Handcraftsmanship

Acknowledge Copyist

Awards

2020, Winner in the violin section “I Suoni del Legno” Competition by Società Filarmonica di Trento

Locally making

Florence, Italy

Maker Background

He was born in Florence in 1984. Andrea started playing violin at a young age and was introduced to violin making as a teenager, attending an amateur violin maker workshop. After obtaining the high school diploma, following his passion for woodworking, he worked as an apprentice in a sawmill. Subsequently, he got a bachelor's degree in natural sciences and a master's degree in biology. During his studies, he deepened his knowledge in violin making with the aim to reach the professional level.

Since 2014, he attended several violin-making courses, among which the one at the "Sandro Pertini" Professional Training Institute in Trento. At the same time, he has been under the private tutelage of Master violin maker Luca Primon in his workshop, acquiring more refined techniques in the manual construction of stringed instruments. From careful tonewood selection to instrument setup, varnishing, and the making of classical varnishes in violin making.

Since then, Andrea also started a learning relationship, still in existence, with Master violin maker Gianmaria Stelzer: he had acquired other skills in setup and sound adjustment techniques and small restorations.

In 2018, he won funding to participate in the "Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs" exchange program of the European Union. He was able to work as an apprentice for Master violin maker Andreas Hudelmayer in London, where he learned techniques in copying and antiquing.

Maker Interview

What famous people play your instruments?

In 2019 I was contacted by Maestro Domenico Pierini, Conductor and Concertmaster, that tried some of my instruments. I was very happy when he decided to commission me a violin. We agreed on a Guarneri del Gesù copy.

Why did you start making instruments?

As a young student, I was fascinated about my violin: to me it was a mysterious blend of simplicity and complexity; how could something made out of “simple” wood produce such a unique and beautiful sound? So, curiosity led me to deepen my knowledge on technical and constructive features underlying the instrument’s functioning. I was also fascinated by violins as works of art: their peculiar shape, their differences in style and their singular personalities led me to discover violin making history as a branch of the history of arts that I already loved. This eventually led me to make some violins that came out to be better and better with dedication, practice and study, until eventually, I decided to make a career out of this path.

Why are your instruments so special?

I see each of my violins as an “act of creation”: each of them is a distinct individual born as the outcome of research, study, design, technical skills and artistic taste combined all together. Research and study are of paramount importance: I want my violins to have the best acoustical properties, so I make them out of top-quality tonewood. As I have learnt from my masters and my experience, there aren’t two identical pieces of wood, so each violin requires the proper manufacture to achieve the best acoustic performance. I take great care of every details: I produce my own purflings as well as my varnishes. On the back of my knowledge in organic and polymer chemistry I carry on experimental research on the synthesis of classical varnish in my own workshop; my main goal is to recreate varnishes compatible with the analysis results of the cremonese varnishes of violins from XVII - XVIII centuries. Also the design is very important, as I want my instruments to look like the violins of the great Italian tradition; I make extensive use of all kinds of documentation available on ancient instruments: measurements and notes, photographic documents, researches and articles, and casts taken directly on the originals. Last but not least, I want my violons to have a peculiar character and reflect my artistic taste and the passion for my work, I don’t always make copies, but I often like to balance philological data and personal interpretations of the old cremonese masters.

What is your inspiration?

My inspiration is the history of Italian violin making and thus the old masters. During the so-called “golden age of violin making”, Italian and especially cremonese violin makers experimented new ways and methods to improve the acoustics of stringed instruments and refined their aesthetic. While the Amati and then Stradivari formalized the geometrical construction of the violin, laying the foundations of modern violin making, Guarneri del Gesù - my favorite maker - in someway deconstructed that canon, implementing with Brescian influences and applying his personal and instinctive style on it. This subtle balance between technics and art is what I love of violin making.

“My principal violin is a Guarneri del Gesù model that I commissioned to Andrea in 2019. Masterful workmanship, my violin has deep and rich lower registers, evenness and warmth of sound across all strings, with a velvety and clear E-string. The violin character is strong and powerful, and performs remarkably both in concert halls and on open-air”.

Domenico Pierini, Concertmaster of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

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