Benito Tosello violin, Cento 1999
Italian violin maker Benito Tosello was born in Cavarzere in 1939, and early on he was trained in carpentry and cabinet making. At the age of fourteen, he found an old guitar and attempted to make a copy, which instilled in him an interest for the art and craft of building instruments. He was also a gifted painter, competing in various competitions and receiving accolades for his talent in the visual arts.
Benito worked for the majority of his career for Fiat in the mechanical department. It was through his employment with Fiat that he was awarded the opportunity to move to Cento, a town known as a hub of lutherie. He became acquainted with members of the prolific Carletti family, and worked under Natale Carletti making and repairing instruments. Together, they participated in lutherie competitions in Bagnacavallo where Tossell was awarded 2nd place for a cello that he submitted in 1980.
In 1982, the Scuola di Artigianato Artistico in Pieve di Cento opened a department dedicated to violin making. The first teachers of this newly-formed program were Benito and Gabriele Carletti, Natale's son. In addition to his work at Fiat, Benito taught violin making, and with any remaining free time, he painted and made his own violins. In 1995, he retired from Fiat to devote the majority of his professional time to teaching and making violins. And in 2012, he left teaching but continued to paint and spend time in his workshop. He leaves a lasting legacy in the many students that he instructed as well as in the many high-quality instruments that he produced.