Anyone interested in violin making history knows that Count Cozio of Salabue played a decisive role in preserving and promoting the old violin making traditions. In fact, we must be grateful to Ignazio Alessandro Cozio if we can admire the tools and drawings used by Antonio Stradivari, and if we have available vital information about the violin makers of the past and their work, but above all if we can still admire extraordinary violins made in Piedmont. So we caught the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his birth as an opportunity to examine the enormous contribution he made to violin making and its history, but also to revive studies about him. And also to cast light onto another aspect that is not always properly recognised: that he was the promoter of a great Piedmontese School of violin making [riporta alla scheda “Liuteria Piemontese”]. By collecting splendid violins, violas and cellos, commissioning a master like Guadagnini to make new instruments, in a word by creating a vital artistic and cultural substratum, he actually laid the foundations on which that school could flourish. And in the centuries to follow that art was reinterpreted by other exceptional violin makers. The best way to remember such an important protagonist of violin making was to set up an exhibition that brought back to Monferrato some of the most precious instruments that had belonged to his collection, like the violin by Francesco Stradivari (known, indeed, as "ex Salabue") and the two Giovanni Battista Guadagnini instruments from the Turin period, together with instruments made by the most representative violin makers of Piedmont. This book presents the results of a unique exhibition, that boasted an absolute wealth of instruments: for the first time, three centuries of violin making are reviewed in full, through 55 instruments of the Piedmontese School, including some very rare specimens. Here are some of the makers present: Cappa, Catenari, Celoniato, Genova, Sorsana and the Guadagnini family; D'Espine, Marchetti, Melegari, Pressenda and Rocca; Fagnola, Genovese, Guerra, Oddone and Morano.
Giovanni Accornero, after studying guitar during his childhood, soon became interested in violin making, building his first instrument at the age of 18 under the guidance of luthier Pietro Gallinotti (Solero - Alessandria). In addition to building and restoring plucked instruments, he devoted himself to the restoration of stringed instruments, attending Arnaldo Morano's workshop and participating in restoration courses.
In 2002, he built a guitar for the "Palacio de la Guitarra" museum in Tokyo, the first Italian guitar to become part of this prestigious collection.
Collaboration with the most authoritative international researchers, organologists, restorers, scholars, experts and luthiers has enabled him to acquire a deep knowledge on the history of ancient and modern Italian stringed instrument making, especially Piedmontese, and his certificates of authenticity are now internationally recognized by collectors, musicians, public and private institutions.
He has also collaborated on countless publications and has been curator of important exhibitions of stringed and plucked instruments.
Since 2011 Giovanni Accomero has been a member of the association "Friends of Stradivari," which is engaged in activities aimed at popularizing stringed instrument making in the world, especially violin making from Piedmont and Cremona.
Since 2012 he has been the official advisor to the German foundation KulturFonds - Peter E. Eckes, active in patronage operations in the search and purchase of stringed instruments to lend to talented young musicians. The latter include violinist Bin Huang, violinist Giovanni Andrea Zanon and the Cremona Quartet.
In 2013, he was appointed conservator of the collection of historical musical instruments donated by Eng. Carlo Alberto Carutti to the city of Cremona, for which he edited the catalog, on permanent display at "Le Stanze per la Musica" rooms, of the Ala Ponzone Civic Museum in Cremona.
Since 2015 he has been an employee of the Lugano-based company MusicMasterpieces, committed to supporting talented young musicians through the Adopt a Musician initiative, managing the loan of string instruments from important private collections.
Born in Novara in 1967, Ivan Epicoco in 1991 graduated in Musicology from the School of Paleography and Musical Philology in Cremona with a thesis dedicated to the evolution of the guitar and its performance practice.
Subsequently, he devoted himself to the study of Piedmontese, Cremonese and Bolognese violin making, both with regard to string instruments and the guitar.
His professional contribution to the publishing project and to the coordination of the publishing house's activities is of fundamental importance.
In 1996 he began his journalistic career at RAI, working first at the Culture and Entertainment editorial office of Tg2 and later moving to the TGR editorial office in Bolzano.
Since 1999 he has been at the TGR of Emilia-Romagna, of which he is currently chief editor.
Passionate about music in general, he approaches the history of violin making through study and archival research.
Thanks to a meeting with Dr. Roccia of the Historical Archives of the City of Turin, he entered the fascinating world of archives realizing immediately the enormous amount of research work still to be done. His friendship with Giovanni Accornero and collaboration with leading international researchers and scholars enabled him to gain a deep understanding of the history of Piedmontese violin making.
With the contribution of his research, he managed to shed light on the life of Count Cozio di Salabue and some of the most important Piedmontese violin makers (Primarily Pressenda, Fagnola and Oddone). In addition, he coordinated the valuable survey work on the history of luthiers in Emilia-Romagna preparatory to the production of Artemio Versari's volume.
In another capacity, he is in charge of the field of exhibitions and expositions, taking care of the presentations, contacts with institutions and foundations, and concretizing the scientific project at all operational stages, from the exhibition idea to the realization of the event.
Below a list of exhibitions of instruments:
• Casale Monferrato (AL), Palazzo Sannazzaro, 2005
Count Cozio of Salabue. Violin Making and Collecting in Piedmont
Exhibition of Piedmontese string instruments from the 17th to the 20th century.
• Alessandria, Palazzo del Monferrato, 2008
The Guitar. Four centuries of Masterpieces
Exhibition of string instruments from the 17th to the 20th century.
• Torino Antiquaria, Lingotto Fiere, 2013
Violin Making. Masters of the Piedmontese school
Display of stringed instruments from the great Piedmontese School.
• Reggia di Venaria, Sale dei Paggi, 2018
Precious Instruments, Illustrious Names. Lutherie and Music between Seventeenth and Twentieth centuries in Europe
Exhibition of thirty musical masterpieces that narrated four centuries of violin making, between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries.
Masters of the Piedmontese school
Esposizione di chitarre, XVII - XX secolo
Annibalotto Fagnola, Stefano Vittorio Fasciolo, Riccardo Genovese