Scrollavezza and Zanrè, the tradition of Parma in the XXI century

Scrollavezza eZanrè is a really special workshop in Parma, run by Elisa Scrolavezza and Andrea Zanrè. Their master (and Elisa’s father), Renato Scrollavezza, is the luthier that reopened the courses of the School of Lutherie of Parma. They are a regular guest of Cremona Musica, where they bring their new instruments, their old precious strings, and their philosophy. We talked with Andrea Zanrè to discover something more about them.


Your philosophy is crafting new instruments as good as the old ones. What are your secrets to create instruments that can be compared to those by the great masters?

That is a good question since at Mondomusica 2019 we are presenting our new book titled “I segreti di Sgarabotto” (“Sgarabotto’s secrets”). The two luthiers that founded the School of lutherie of Parma in 1929 say that there are no secrets to realize instruments on the level of the great masters of Cremona (as confirmed by Simone Fernando Sacconi in his new book “I segreti di Stradivari”, “Stradivari’s secrets”). What you need to do is to deepen the study of technique and the aesthetic of the historic Italian lutherie, always remembering that we are creating XXI century instruments, that must fit the taste and requirements of today’s musicians.


Which peculiarities of the School of lutherie of Parma can we find in your instruments?

This year the school of lutherie of Parma is celebrating its 90th anniversary. It was active between 1929 and 1936 under the guidance of Gaetano and Pietro Sgarabotto, and their courses were reopened in 1975 by Renato Scrollavezza, our master. For many years we have also been teaching in the same institute. Briefly, the peculiarity of the School of lutherie of Parma is taking inspiration from the great masters of the XX century: beside Sgarabotto, it is inspired by the style of the Milanese lutherie (Ornati and Garimberti), and by the Emilian lutherie.


You are also restorers: which are the most requested repairs?

Our workshop usually makes one main restoration per year (lasting many months) and many routine interventions to solve minor problems or for the acoustic setting. The rest of the time is dedicated to the realization of new instruments.


What should we do to preserve our instruments?

The main advice is protecting it from climate variations, especially from a humid to a dry atmosphere. Then, a bit of common sense is enough: never cleaning the instrument with products that abrade the original varnish, or that remain on it, and periodically visiting a specialized workshop for the maintenance and preservation of the instrument.


What is the importance of Cremona Musica in your business and what do you expect from the upcoming edition?

We have gone past our 10th participation in Cremona Musica, but it is always a good opportunity to renew our relationship with the Italian and International customers and to exhibit our ancient instruments and the best productions from our workshop.