Protagonist of the historical evolution of the violin, Cremonese violinmaking initiated in the second part of the 16th century with Andrea Amati, creating, over three centuries, an evolutive process unique in the world.
In these 300 years many families of violinmakers succeeded one another for several generations: from father to son, from nephew to grand-nephew. These famous families are the Bergonzis, the Guarneris, the Ruggeris and the Stradivaris; dynasties of violin makers more or less well-known, but undoubtedly all relying on the classical tradition of instrument making.
These families became popular in Europe, the noble courts commissioned to the cremonese violinmakers the instruments for their orchestras, the famous musicians of those times aspired to own an instrument made in Cremona so the name Cremona reached the highest levels.
After the initial splendour there was a decline around the end of the 18th century that lasted all through the 19 th century, even if in that period many important violinmakers worked in the city.
A complete moment of silence started at the beginning of the 20th century; it broke only with the creation of the “Stradivari Room” first, and then the “Stradivari Museum”until the 50s. Around the 60s, the International School of Violinmaking of Cremona opened, even though it was constituted in 1938.
In that same period, the city of Cremona laid the basis of its collection of historical instruments: as a matter of fact, the Tourist Board (Ente per il Turismo) collected funds to purchase the violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1715, that was later rebaptized “Il Cremonese”.
Since then, Cremonese violinmaking has regained importance, also thanks to the training of new masters, the opening of new workshops, the renewal of international relationships and the organization of successful concerts and exhibitions.
Nowadays in Cremona there are more than 130 workshops, and the city has finally regained its position as being an essential reference for international violinmaking.