As the Expo approaches its close, the Italian Pavilion invites visitors to its ‘The Making Of’ room one final time to observe first-hand the tradition of exquisite craftsmanship that defines Made in Italy. From October 16 through October 31, eight master luthiers from the renowned Cremona Consortium will take turns handcrafting the world’s most celebrated violins. In addition to making the instruments, from time-to-time the masters will treat audiences to a live violin performance.
During their stay in Shanghai, the craftsmen will complete two classic violins – a Stradivarius model 1715 and model Guarneri del Gesu “Stauffer” – as well as a violoncello Stradivarius “Gore-Booth”. ‘The Making Of’ room will be equipped, just as in a true Cremona workshop, with two work benches and a variety of wood, glues, varnishes and planes to show visitors how violins in Cremona are still assembled entirely by hand and not machine as in other workshops around the world. A display of five instruments made by students at Cremona’s International School of Violin Making will also be showcased around the perimeter of the room. Following the Expo, the completed violins will be exhibited at major international music trade fairs, including Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Mondomusic in Cremona and Music China in Shanghai.
“We are delighted by the opportunity to bring our tradition of violin making to the Italian Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. It is an unprecedented chance for the city of Cremona to share this very unique part of Italy’s cultural and artistic heritage with the wider world,” stated Gian Domenico Auricchio, President of the Consortium.
“Over the course of the Expo, the Italian Pavilion has welcomed a total of 12 workshops showcasing world-famous Italian craftsmanship across numerous fields, from the tailors and shoemakers of Zegna and Ferragamo to the cabinetmakers of Cassina. ‘The Making Of’ room has been one of the most successful exhibits at the Italian Pavilion, demonstrating not only the enduring importance of traditional hand craftsmanship techniques and superior quality to Italian-made products, but also the centrality of man to the Italian way of life,” expressed Mr. Beniamino Quintieri, Commissioner General of Italy for the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Cremona has played a key role in the development of the violins since the middle of the sixteen century. Over the centuries, families of violin makers have handed down their skills from generation to generation, creating a common bond around the tradition of classical construction techniques. Owning a violin made in their workshops was for the main European courts and the great musician, not just a mark of distinction, but also a guarantee of the excellent quality of the instrument. Since then, Cremona violin making has gone from strength to strength, new master craftsmen have been schooled and fresh workshops established. Now boasting over 140 specialised workshops, Cremona has once again become the world capital of violin making.
Founded in 1996 to promote and advance the eminent Cremonese violin-making tradition, the Consortium is composed of 72 members, each with their own craft shop in Cremona. Their art, known and admired around the world, provides inexhaustible inspiration for modern instrument makers. Every instrument made by the Consortium carries a trademark as guarantee that it was handmade by a Cremonese master instrument maker.