In focus: a 1972 violin by Alfredo del Lungo

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Alfredo Del Lungo began studying the art of violin making at the workshop of his father, Giuseppe Del Lungo (1883–1926), while also taking cello lessons at the Conservatorio Cherubini in Florence. In 1933, aged 24, he was appointed official luthier to the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina, which soon became the Orchestra ...

Alfredo Del Lungo began studying the art of violin making at the workshop of his father, Giuseppe Del Lungo (1883–1926), while also taking cello lessons at the Conservatorio Cherubini in Florence. In 1933, aged 24, he was appointed official luthier to the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina, which soon became the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. In 1948 he worked at the museum of ancient instruments of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, involved in the conservation of its collection. In 1949 he was invited to the Argentine province of Tucumán to take up the position of luthier to the symphony orchestra of the National University. The link with this institution proved fruitful, as in 1950 he was asked to initiate the project for its lutherie school – the first teaching institution of its kind in Latin America.

There followed a brief spell back in Italy, where he was hired by the Luigi Cherubini Museum in Florence to restore the collection of musical instruments that had been damaged in the 1966 flood, including the 1690 ‘Medici, Tuscan’ Stradivari viola. As a result, the Italian government appointed him cavaliere of the Order of the Republic of Italy. The press later referred to him as il medico degli Stradivari.Returning to Tucumán, Del Lungo split his time between new making and restoring instruments. He also taught and ran the violin making school until his retirement in 1986.

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