Marino Capicchioni: A one-of-a-kind luthier

capicchioni marino on the workshop (2)

Self-taught and living far away from any centres of lutherie, Marino Capicchioni became famous in his time for the superb quality of his instruments.

The life of a violin maker often follows the same pattern: study at one of the renowned lutherie schools around the world, then time spent as a journeyman in a reputable city workshop, before striking out on one’s own, possibly winning some awards and developing a reputation for quality instruments. Marino Capicchioni bucked this trend in many ways: being entirely self-taught, he spent nearly all his career working alone in Rimini on Italy’s east coast. However, his output of instruments was huge, numbering around 580, and their sound is excellent, attracting the attention of such virtuosos as Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich and Salvatore Accardo. His personal models, often inspired by Stradivari and Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, are still copied by makers today – and indeed, nowadays it is common to find instruments circulating with fake Capicchioni labels. For this reason, it is a good time to shed light on this intriguing luthier, whose life story may be inspirational for anyone just starting out today…

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