Historic Granada Guitars

IMG_6254The guitars in this month’s guitar exhibition in Granada include some very interesting historic guitars, some of which are being exhibited for the first time in public. Benito Ferrer, José Pernas, Manuel de la Chica, Nicolás del Valle, Agustín Caro, and as a testament to the most famous apprentice in Granada, Antonio de Torres. In the photo above you can see from left to right the del Valle, Pernas and Caro. In previous posts you can see de la Chica, Torres and Ferrer. We also expected a Juan Ortega, the maker who taught Benito Ferrer but in the end it didn’t come. I was asked to mention that this guitar is for sale. The owners of the Manuel de la Chica and the Nicolás del Valle are also interested in selling. I hope these importante elements of Granada’s history stay close to home.

Opening night of the guitar exhibition

Here is a moment from David Martinez’s excellent concert last night. He is a real virtuoso. Aarón García Ruiz presented an excellent lecture on the history of the Granada school including very convincing proof that it was indeed José Pernas who taught Antonio de Torres guitar-making. His plea for a guitar museum in Granada was also very well argued.20170517_202514 In this picture you can see a few of the information panels in the background. There is one panel of the photographs of the guitar-makers but the rest were made by members of the Asociación para el Estudio de la Guitarra RCSMVE and trace the history of the guitar. Check times and dates for upcoming events at the exhibition in yesterday’s post.

Granada, ciudad de la guitarra

IMG_6244Spanish version here. Yesterday we spent the afternoon setting up the exhibition “Granada, ciudad de la guitarra” which opens today in the Sala Zaida, Caja Rural. The exhibition opens with a quote from Evaristo Valentí’s article “La nueva escuela” and takes us through the development of the guitar (thanks to Asociación para el Estudio de la Guitarra RCSMVE) to leave us with a great collection of guitars made in Granada. The only exception is the Antonio de Torres guitar from the Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucia which is there to remind of us of the fact that Torres built his first guitar in Granada. IMG_6256A series of videos showing guitar-makers at work, a selection of historical tools, jigs and documents are on display as well. The highlights of the exhibition will be the concerts, live workbenches and the conferences. Here you can see guitar-maker Juan García Fernández, who will have his workbench onsite for a few periods throughout the exhibition, admiring the work of Pernas, Caro and del Valle. Thanks again to Gloria Medina for all the work and of course to Fundación Caja Rural and Poli Servián for the iniative. Click here for the programme. IMG_6255

Antonio de Torres and the Granada School

This wednesday brings us the inauguration of a guitar festival with concerts, lectures and an exhibition which lasts until June 9th. David Martínez and Edson Lopes will be playing, Aarón García will talk about the Granada school and René Baarslag and Ana Espinosa will demonstrate how a guitar is put together. Juan García Fernández will be moving his workbench into the exhibition space for a few hours at a time as will french polish expert Javier Campos. Historic guitars from Granada will be exhibited along with current makers’ guitars.

Sala Zaida (Caja Rural) in Fuente de las Batallas.

More news on opening night.

Torres Copy in Badalona

Here Abel García Ayala plays Hommage pour le tombeau de Debussy on my Torres copy at the Antonio de Torres festival in Badalona. Abel is an excellent player and will be scooping up all of the prizes at festivals this year.

Guitars from Paracho

The guitar pictured is of course a copy of the “Cumbre” made by Antonio de Torres which represents the pinnacle of the craft. I know of a few who have made copies but the perfection and fidelity of this one to the original are incredible. I got to hear the guitar in concert also and it is a great-sounding instrument. The maker is Abel García López from Paracho, Mexico. If you have any preconceived notions about the quality of the guitars made in Paracho you can forget them now. Although I understand that there are many makers in the area who work extremely quickly and cheaply, Abel is at the other extreme completely of the guitar-making spectrum. He is now on my list of world-class makers. I spent some time with him this weekend at the International Guitar Days in Badalona and really enjoyed his company where his guitar was the star of the show.  Here is the poster for the event.