Giovanni Battista Guadagnini facts for kids
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Giovanni Battista Guadagnini
23 June 1711|
Bilegno in Val Tidone, Italy
|Died||18 September 1786
|Elected||Court luthier of Duchy of Parma|
Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (often shortened to G. B. Guadagnini; 23 June 1711 – 18 September 1786) was an Italian luthier, regarded as one of the finest craftsmen of string instruments in history. He is widely considered the third greatest maker after Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri "del Gesù". The Guadagnini family was known for their violins, guitars and mandolins.
Giovanni Battista Guadagnini was born on June 23, 1711 in the hamlet of Bilegno, in what is now the Province of Piacenza in Northern Italy. Both his life and his career can be divided into four distinct periods, which correspond to the four cities in which he would live and work, Piacenza, Milan, Parma, and Turin.
Almost nothing is known about his early years until he moved to the nearby city of Piacenza in 1738. His first violins begin appearing in 1742. It is unknown where or from whom he learned his trade. It is likely that he served an apprenticeship with a local woodworker, since he joined the woodworking guild, however there is no documentation of local instrument makers in Piacenza at the time.
In 1749 Guadagnini moved to Milan, where he continued to make instruments. The reason for his move is unknown, but was perhaps economically motivated as Milan was a much larger city with a larger and more active music scene. During this time a few of his instruments bear labels implying a relationship to Cremona—the home of the renowned violin makers Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri—however no evidence exists that Guadagnini ever lived in Cremona.
In 1758 Guadagnini moved again, this time to Parma. He may have been drawn to the city by the recent appointment of Carlo Ferarri, a close musician friend from his time in Piacenza, to a position with the Ducal Court. During his time in Parma Guadagnini was also closely connected to the court, and in particular to the musical patronage of the Prime Minister Guillaume du Tillot. In his later years in Parma Guadagnini even received a direct salary from the court. In 1771, with the Court's financial fortunes in decline, Guadagnini asked to be allowed to leave.
He next moved to Turin. Two years later, in 1773, he began his historically important relationship with notable violin collector Count Cozio. Cozio purchased most, if not all, of Guadagnini's output during this time, and also supplied him with most of his wood and other materials. His business partnership with Cozio ended in 1777, though they continued to have dealings with each other. The Count is likely responsible for Guadagnini's marked shift to a more Stradivari-like style during this time, both by pressuring Guadagnini to more closely copy Stradivari and by providing Guadagnini with access to examples of Stradivari's work.
Giovanni Battista Guadagnini passed away in Turin on September 18, 1786.
Guadagnini's work is divided into four distinct periods, which correspond to the four cities in which he worked over the span of his career, Piacenza, Milan, Parma, and Turin. His work in each new city changed in response to the availability of materials, the needs of the local musicians, and finally in Turin, his relationship with Count Cozio. Stylistically Guadagnini's work is generally less refined and polished than that of makers such as the Amatis or Stradivari, however with the same focus on tonal success. He is generally considered to be the last of the great historical makers, ranking just behind Stradivari and Guarneri. He is also possibly the last of historical makers to have used a varnish similar to what was used by classical Cremonese makers.
His instruments have sold for over $2,000,000 at auction.
Performers with Guadagnini instruments
|Violinist||Date & place of manufacture||Sobriquet||Comments||Reference|
|Riccardo Brengola||1747, Piacenza||Contessa Crespi|
|Adolf Brodsky||1751, Milan||ex-Brodsky|
|Zakhar Bron||1757, Milan|
|Andrew Dawes||1770, Parma|
|Richard Deakin||English chamber musician and soloist, currently teaching at RAM in London, was using one in 1980s and likely still is.|
|Carl Flesch||1750s||ex-Henri Vieuxtemps|
|David Garrett||1772||In December 2007, Garrett fell after a performance and smashed his Guadagnini, which he had purchased four years earlier for US$1 million. He now uses it for mainly his outdoor crossover performances.|
|David Greed||1757||Owned by the Yorkshire Guadagini 1757 Syndicate.|
|Jascha Heifetz||1741, Piacenza||ex-Heifetz||Provenance - by Rembert Wurlitzer in 1946 and Dario D'Attili in 1991|
|Peter Herresthal||1753, Milan|
|Joseph Joachim||1767, Parma||ex-Joachim|
|David Kim||1757||On loan from The Philadelphia Orchestra|
|Goran Končar||1753, Milan|
|Pekka Kuusisto||1752||On loan from the Finnish Cultural Foundation|
|Manfred Leverkus||1752||ex-Kneisel||Stolen in 2006|
|Wayne Lin||1779, Turin|
|Tasmin Little||1757, Milan|
|Mauro Lopes Ferreira|
|Haldon Martinson||1750||Being used in the Boston Symphony Orchestra|
|Stefan Milenkovich||1780, Turin|
|Ginette Neveu||Purchased early spring, 1949. Involved in an air crash later that year, in which Neveu died. Scroll later apparently appeared in Paris, having changed hands several times.|
|Simone Porter||1745||On loan from The Mandell Collection of Southern California|
|William E. Pynchon||1779, Turin||Purchased March 26, 1957. Played in San Francisco Opera until 1998|
|Linda Rosenthal||1772, Turin|
|Mari Samuelsen||1773, Turin||On loan from ASAF (Anders Sveeas Charitable Foundation, Oslo).|
|Mayumi Seiler||1740, Piacenza|
|Ittai Shapira||1745, Piacenza|
|Sini-Maaria Simonen||1760||On loan from the Finnish Cultural Foundation|
|Roman Simovic||1752||On loan from Jonathan Moulds|
|Lara St. John||1779||Salabue||Called "The Resurrection" by St. John|
|Lyndon Johnston Taylor||1777|
|Henri Temianka||1752||Built based on the Petro Guarnerius model. Certificate of Joseph Vedral, violinmaker, Holland, 28 September 1929|
|Pavel Vernikov||1747, Piacenza||ex-Contessa Crespi, ex-Brengola||On loan from Fondazione Pro Canale. Worth $1.5 million in 2016. Stolen in December 2016.|
|Henri Vieuxtemps||1750s||ex-Henri Vieuxtemps|
|Bob Wills||1784||Described as 157 years old when bought in 1941 for $3,000, Wills later claimed in an interview that he gave it away "to a friend of mine in Tayxas" and bought another for $5,000.|
|Eugène Ysaÿe||1774||ex-Eugène Ysaÿe|
|Bomsori Kim||1774, Turin|
|Li Chuan Yun||1784||On loan from the Stradivari Society|
- Li-Kuo Chang plays the 'ex-Vieuxtemps' G.B. Guadagnini viola, Parma c.1768.
- Geraldine Walther plays a G.B. Guadagnini viola, Turin 1774.
- Natalie Clein plays the "Simpson" Guadagnini cello (1777).
- David Geringas plays a G.B. Guadagnini cello made in 1761.
- Maxine Neuman plays a 1772 Guadagnini.
- Han-na Chang plays the G.B. Guadagnini cello made in Milan in 1757.
- Gilberto Munguia plays a G.B. Guadagnini cello (1748).
- Saša Večtomov played a G.B. Guadagnini cello made in Milan in 1754.
- Sol Gabetta plays a G.B. Guadagnini cello (1759).
- Carter Brey, principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, plays a Guadagnini made in Milan in 1754.
Giovanni Battista Guadagnini Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.