The Consorzio Liutai “Antonio Stradivari” Cremona was founded in 1996 to promote and enhance contemporary Cremonese violin making, which continues to follow the tradition of craftsmanship. The Consortium is based in Cremona, the city of Stradivari, Amati and Guarneri, the great masters of the past. Their art, known and admired throughout the world, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for modern instrument makers. More than sixty Masters Violin Makers in Cremona and its province belong to the Consortium.
To safeguard the work of luthiers, the Consortium has developed, in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and the Artisans Associations, the "Cremona Liuteria" trademark. The trademark is the sole property of the Consortium, and it guarantees that certified instruments are handmade by professional Cremonese master craftsmen. The Consortium has a database of the instruments sold that bear the "Cremona Liuteria" trademark. This allows the authenticity of the instruments to be constantly checked. The trademark is a critical step for the protection of Cremonese instruments from the danger of counterfeiting as it leads to transparency in the market and security for purchasers.
Since its founding in 1996, the Consorzio Liutai has been engaged in promoting, enhancing and selling instruments with the "Cremona Liuteria" trademark in Italy and abroad. The "Cremona Liuteria" logo is registered in Italy and in 39 other countries worldwide. The Consorzio Liutai has cultural and promotional relationships on every continent. At an international level, it is the only entity that certifies the origin and authenticity of string instruments. With the use of new technologies that combine innovation and tradition, the Consortium has been able to refine its guarantee to its customers. The certification system allows about 2,000 end customers to identify the origin, craftsmanship, and authenticity of an instrument through a system of photography, checks, and inspections carried out with an exclusively designed program.
Edgar E. Russ was born in Austria in 1966. At a very young age he developed a strong passion for making musical instruments. In 1984 he moved to Italy to attend the “Antonio Stradivari Violinmaking School” of Cremona. After four years under Maestro Bergonzi′ s supervision, he graduated in 1989. To complete his professional training and his continual research in the field of acoustics, he decided to travel to the United States, where he worked in several workshops and furthered his knowledge beyond the traditional Cremonese method of violinmaking.
In 1990 Edgar Russ opened his first workshop in Cremona in Via Plasio 7. In 1995 he opened a workshop together with his friend and college Giorgio Grisales. After 10 years of collaboration, he then moved in October 2004, in a new, independent workshop in Cremona. This new workshop is situated in the very heart of Cremona and is an interesting meeting place for professional performers, violinmakers and connoisseurs.
His instruments are played by world best known important musicians, professors and teachers in most prestigious orchestras, chamber music groups and quartets and have been used by soloists in CD recordings. He is well known for his set up and sound adjustments. Edgar´s increasing reputation on craftsmanship and remarkable acoustic qualities has boast the high demand among private collectors and musicians from all over the world including Australia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Switzerland, the United States and of course Italy.
Pasquale Sardone was born on July 7th, 1979 in Altamura (BA), and grew up in Poggiorsini (BA). In 2001 he moved to Cremona to attend the “Antonio Stradivari International Violinmaking School”, where he learned how to make string instruments, with his Master Violinmaker Giorgio Scolari.
He graduated in 2005 and then he started an apprenticeship in the workshop of Master Giorgio Grisales, under the guidance of Giorgio and his nephew Ricardo. During this time Pasquale further developed his interest and passion for double basses.
In 2013 he opened his own workshop in Persico Dosimo (CR) where he makes, repairs and restores instruments. His production is a continuous evolution through studies and researches of the classical and contemporary violinmaking schools, varnishes and shapes, in order to achieve the right balance between aesthetic and sound.
Marcello Villa was born in Monza in 1965, and lives and works in Cremona. He began studying violin when he was twelve, later enrolling in the International School of Violin-making in Cremona. He graduated in 1983 obtaining the highest possible merit in his final year, a scholarship from the Walter Stauffer Foundation. He has won many prizes for his instruments.
Marcello Villa makes violins, violas and cellos, particularly favouring Cremonese classical models: Stradivari, Guarneri “del Gesù”, and Amati. His main interest is the reproduction of Stradivarian inlaid instruments, which he believes to be the quintessence of artistic and technical perfection.
Since 1983, the year in which he built his first inlaid violin, preserved in the Museum of the International School of Violin-making in Cremona, he has made copies of the Hellier, Ole Bull, Sunrise, Cipriani Potter, Rode, Greffhule violins and of the Spanish and Axelrod violas.
A decorated quartet by Marcello Villa inspired to Axelrod Strad Quartet is part of Cremona Civic Violinmaking Collections.
Marco Nolli was born in Cremona on November 3rd, 1964. He studied at the “A. Stradivari International School of Violinmaking” and obtained his diploma as a Master Violinmaker in 1983 under the guidance of Giorgio Scolari and Stefano Conia. Then he apprenticed in the workshop of Master Scolari, where he developed his personal style.
In that same period he continued his musical studies in trumpet, double bass, voice, harmony and conducting. He currently conducts the “Fanfara dei Bersaglieri”, of Cremona. He teaches courses in construction and set-up of bowed string instruments at the “A. Stradivari” Institute. He collaborates closely with Franco Petracchi, who commissioned him to make a copy of his instrument. In addition to making violins, violas, cellos and double basses, he also make copies of antique instruments and does restoration.
He has participated with success at important violinmaking competitions both in Italy and abroad and has been awarded numerous prizes and honors. Today, his instruments are sought after by talented Italian and foreign musicians and by international orchestras, who appreciate both the workmanship and the acoustic qualities of his works. These include the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Lausanne Symphony Orchestra, Valencia Orchestra, Nagoya Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Cremona March 5th, 1959. As a boy, he had the opportunity to learn about woodworking in his father’s workshop and later with wood carvers and cabinet-makers. After junior school he enrolled at the “A. Stradivari Institute of International Violinmaking” in Cremona, attaining his diploma in 1978 under the guidance of Master Gio Batta Morassi and verified by Master Sesto Rocchi.
His violins are inspired by the great masters of the past and include Stradivarius, Guarneri and personal models. A balanced and harmonious style, with the use of mixed or oil varnish colored red-orange or amber, characterizes his work. Since 1981 he has taught at the “A. Stradivari Institute of International Violinmaking” in Cremona.
As an authority in the world of violinmaking, he has been an advisor at conservatories and music schools both in Italy and abroad (United States, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, France and Switzerland), and has worked in conjunction with important National and International Orchestras.
Always open to exchanges in a cultural and professional sense, he founded ALI (Associazione Liutai Italiani) and the Consortium of Violinmakers “A. Stradivari” in Cremona. From 1985 to 1988 he collaborated with Prof. Ciro Moschella in the publication of the book “Liuteria Moderna dall’Ottocento al Novecento”.