Saturday, December 18, 2010

Antonio Stradivari

Note: The picture has nothing to do with the article.
Today in History:

Amazing things have happened on this day. Most importantly, today is the first day of Christmas vacation for my two sisters and I. That's right. I will use bad grammar in celebration. Along with being the first day of Christmas break, today, or December 18th, was the day that Antonio Stradivari died 273 years ago. Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) was an Italian violin maker during the Baroque Period. Although Stradivari is virtually unknown among non-violin players, he is widely considered as the best violin maker of all times. Stradivari was born in Cremona, Italy and is believed to have been mentored by Nicolo Amati, who came from a famous family of violin makers. As a violin maker, Stradivari would experiment on how to make the perfect instrument by experimenting with factors including wood type, varnish, shape, size, and wood thickness. Most instruments made by Stradivari are signed, "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonesis Faciebat Anno [insert year here]", or , in English, "Antonio Stradivari of Cremona, made in the year [insert year here]". This inscription is a Latin phrase, and it is because if this inscription that his violins are referred to as 'Stradivarius violins'. Stradivari's best instruments are said to have been made between 1700 and 1725, and these violins are preferred by world-class musicians over any other type of violin and tend to have a better tone than other violins. In 1737, on this day, Stradivari died at age 93. Over his lifetime, he made over 1100 instruments, including harps, guitars, violas, cellos, lutes, and mandolins in addition to his violins. Of these many instruments, only about 650 survive to this day.

Information from...