Giuseppe Guarneri (1698-1744), known as Giuseppe del
Gesù, was the last and most celebrated member of a family of
Cremona luthiers. His violins are unquestionably as renowned as
those of Stradivari.
In the manner of Giuseppe Guarneri
Maple, spruce, steel
Overall length: 59 cm;
body: 35.5 x 20 cm;
ribs: 3 cm
Guarneri was no doubt influenced by his
countryman, as he was by the distinguished instrument makers of
Brescia, whose instruments combined the two great traditions of
Italian baroque stringed instruments. He was nicknamed "del
Gesù" because of the labels that appear on his violins, bearing the
monogram IHS (Jesu Hominum Salvator) and a Roman
John Newton has been crafting instruments
full-time for ten years. His manual skill was developed, he says,
by building reduced scale models and by drawing. Newton began to
play the violin when he was around fifteen, and his love of music
for stringed instruments eventually drew him to instrument making.
After building five violins on his own, he vowed to become a
professional luthier. He apprenticed under Otto Erdész, a
Romanian-born luthier and master viola maker who had settled in
Canada after living in New York for seventeen years. In the course
of his apprenticeship, Newton learned all facets of
stringed-instrument making, from wood selection, design and
varnishing to final adjustment.
Newton made several violas under Erdész's direction and became his
assistant. In 1981, he received a Canada Council grant that enabled
him to continue his studies and launch his career as a professional
luthier. To date, he has made approximately one hundred
instruments, which are widely appreciated by professional musicians
and are played in major orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony,
the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and the Amadeus Ensemble.
Newton says that he is fascinated and inspired by the demands of
his craft: balancing manual dexterity and musical understanding
with artistic expression; respecting an ancient tradition while
meeting the practical needs of contemporary musicians; and
achieving consistent quality while bearing in mind the numerous
variables inherent in natural materials.
John Newton's label