Last year Guido Mariotto won the Concorso Triennale Antonio Stradivari, a unique recognition in the world of lutherie, further enriched by the victory of the Stauffer Prize with a double bass, something that has never happened in the history of the competition. Waiting to meet him again this September in Cremona Musica, we talked with him about his career and this victory.
Your father was a luthier, but can you tell us how you approached violin making and the beginning of your career?
Surely I owe everything to my father, without him I think I would not have approached this job. I always had the opportunity to frequent the workshop and from a very young age I had my first contact with tools. I remember that my father's clients asked if he trusted to leave sharp chisels and gouges in the hands of a child, but luckily he always left me free. The beginning was simple, in the sense that I built my first instrument entirely by myself, a cello, and I still remember the positive comments of the musician who tried it. It all started from there.
What are the main elements of the Mantuan tradition that we find in your instruments?
In the double bass, in particular in recent years, the needs of the musicians have changed greatly, so the models have changed a lot compared to the past, but I try to keep the characteristics of the edges, the woods used for the internal structures, the paint. I find it nice to keep a line of recognition of your own region especially for those who will look at my instruments in the future.
Last year you won the Concorso Triennale Antonio Stradivari, can you tell us about this experience and the double bass with which you achieved this great result?
The double bass was built specifically to participate in the Competition, so you try to choose the best woods you have in the workshop, build it calmly and try to take care of the details with an eye to the others because you know that a jury will examine it from top to bottom. The victory was very exciting and it took me a few weeks to fully understand it because I wished I could win the gold medal, which is already an event in the double bass, but also receiving the Stauffer prize for best sound with the double bass, something that never happened in the entire history of the Competition, was truly an incredible satisfaction. I think it was maybe an award that, in addition to enhancing my own work, also enhanced that of my father, a work that I was able to inherit and carry on.
How has your work changed after this success?
In practice, nothing has changed, from the day after the award ceremony I returned to the workshop to try to improve and build a better instrument than the previous one, perhaps with an additional awareness about the quality of my work.
What are your expectations for Cremona Musica 2022?
I have already participated in Mondomusica for several editions, I know that it is an important and international showcase. I hope that everything can return to the way it was before the Covid era with many musicians and students who want to see and try instruments and many traders from abroad who want to admire our Italian instruments.
Do you already know what instruments you will present at Cremona Musica 2022?
For sure I will bring a new model that I made inspired by a "Domenico Busan" double bass by recovering the walnut wood for the sides and back from the doors and sides of an old wardrobe from the late 19th century to have a very old wood. I am very satisfied with the result.