Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier – For those who don’t know you yet, can you tell us about your background? Did you go to Luthiers school? Did you follow a training with already established Luthiers? And, if you don’t mind my asking, what did you do before embarking on this adventure? Were you a musician before becoming a luthier? Or did you do anything else? And, by the way, do you still find time to play music with your work as a Luthier ?

 

Yes, I did attend violin making school, “Scuola di Liuteria Artistica Bolognese”.

 

In 1979, after being selected for a closed number of student (total of twelve, later two positions were added), for a the full course of four years. More than a school it was a special program; the purpose of it was to preserve the violin making tradition of my hometown, Bologna. The director was the late Maestro Otello Bignami.

It was like being trained in the old fashion way, instead of attending his shop, it was him in a larger shop teaching his students.

At the time I had just finished Art school, and one day my father informed me that a “course for luthiers” was going to take place in Bologna, I applied for, I passed the test and got enrolled.

I played the violin at the time, this was an advantage for passing the test, since the knowledge of violin playing was required for enrolling the school.

From the very first day of school I understood that it was what I wanted to do, but that also it was a turning point for my violin player career, violin making is a serious commitment, not much time was left for music, but I did not stopped playing.

 

I still play some (when I have the time).

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background
Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

Apart from creating custom instruments, we know that you do all types of repairs and maintenance on bowed strings instruments, can you also take care of other types of plucked stringed instruments?

 

Making and taking care of bowed instrument is more than enough, I leave plucked instruments to experts of such instruments.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background
Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier – Can you tell us about your current flagship models? Do you have a range that you do regularly? Do you also make unique custom models ? How did you proceed to create them ? What were your choices and your creation process? What kind of musicians do you cater to?

 

I begun with the traditional patterns, Fiorini and my teacher’s, then through the years I developed my own models.

 

At the moment most of the requests are for the “OLYMPIA” model and the “K” model; upon request I make a custom model developed years ago, smaller in proportions, “PICCOLO” model, extremely comfortable.

The creation of all my own models comes from the traditional patterns, studying them, understand the players needs and developing solutions to cater my own taste and the players needs.

Since most of my clients are professional musicians their standards are very high, violin playing has reached a very demanding stage,

 

so sound quality is extremely important , as well as aesthetic.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background
Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

Computer has become everyone’s daily life, regardless of their profession. Do you use special computer tools in the field of Luthiers? Can you tell us about them?

 

No I do not use computer tools, I am a last century’s maker, all is still made with brain controlled human force powered tools.

 

Beside email and Internet, the function of computer ends here.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background
Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier – Those who know you know that you are a great lover of beautiful woods, how do you help your customers to choose the woods of their future instruments in relation to the sound they have in mind? Can you easily find wood in your networks? If so, can you name some of your suppliers ?

 

I do love beautiful figured wood.

 

In terms of sound wood can be surprising, but in general I have ideas.

Usually customers have in mind what they are accustomed to, or they do not want anymore what they have been playing, after discovering the limit of their original choice.

Usually the word of mouth brings them to my shop, so they already have heard or know of my work.

Advices in the choice of wood is given accordingly to the personal needs.

 

But my work makes the difference.

 

Luckily I do not have the necessity of looking for wood, I have a lifelong supply acquired from different sources in the past years.

Nowadays is easier to find beautiful wood, unfortunately is not always ready to be worked on,

 

time is fundamental for curing the wood in order to have a good sounding instrument.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background
Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier – There is a huge selection of aftermarket parts. Do you work with regular suppliers or are you always on the lookout for new suppliers who can offer you something new? Do you have any examples to give us?

 

I look for high quality parts,

 

I have tried different companies, but I always end up going back to the more reliable companies, like TEMPEL, C.A. GÖTZ, in Germany.

 

 

When you can’t find the parts you want at your aftermarket suppliers, do you ever create parts yourself or hire specialized craftsmen? Can you give us some examples?

 

I am more than satisfied with what they can provide.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background
Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier – Varnish… Nitrocellulo, P.U (polyurethane) or “pad” varnish or others? What are your choices and why?

 

I use spirit based varnish or oil varnish, pigments, brush and patience.

 

 

How do you choose the pickups for your electric instruments according to the demands of your customers? Do you have any secrets or wiring habits? Have you ever had any very special requests, or requests that seemed strange to you from customers with special needs?

 

Amplifying a bowed instrument is challenging, so many variables.

 

Again, I suggest what I think works better (and it is usually the most expensive !).

 

As for a particular request: I filled up a violin with polyurethane foam in order to avoid feedback , it worked !!

 

 

How do you help your customers choose their electro-acoustic sensors?

 

I leave the choice to them.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background
Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

How do you help your clients choose the woods for the fingerboard of their instrument in relation to the sound they want to achieve? Can you tell us how this choice affects the other woods used in the construction of an instrument?

 

Bowed instruments do not leave much of a choice.

 

Ebony for the fingerboard ; for trimming boxwood or ebony.

 

Other woods are under experimentation.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier – Do you have any advice for future young luthiers? Can you give them advice on training courses? Do you know of any special schools?

 

Difficult question to answer.

 

No matter what you are thinking of making, violins, guitars: look with attention and passion, study, understand the solutions other makers found; do not copy or imitate, get inspired by the tradition close to you.

 

Find a good teacher, a good teacher teaches you how to not make mistakes, you will save a lot of time.

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background

 

 

The profession of Luthier is a trade that requires a significant material investment to start its activity. What would you advise a young luthier to buy to start? The minimum required? And, the maximum to be in a comfortable working environment?

 

It is a very expensive profession,

 

but for start buy one set of good wood (cured and beautiful figured), buy good tools, professional tools, only the basic ones, gouges, planes and scrapers and be patient, it is the best tool you can use if well used.

A small workbench or a sturdy table, and many years of study and practice.

 

Whatever you do just remember: it is supposed to be played for years to come.

 

 

 

 

You can contact Bruno Stefanini through the contact form
on his personal page on Luthiers.com here:

https://luthiers.com/listing/bruno-stefanini/

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier Interview 1 Background – You can contact Bruno Stefanini through the contact form on his personal page on Luthiers.com – Click on the picture 😉

 

 

We also invite you to follow him on his various social networks:

 

 

Bruno Stefanini Luthier

In the coming weeks, as for others luthiers for plucked string instruments, luthiers for bowed string instruments, amps & effects makers, wood & supplies dealers, lutherie events, jobs, schools & teachers subscribers on our site, you will be able to follow our series of mini-interviews dedicated to the fascinating world of luthiers.

See you soon…

#luthiers

 

 

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