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Guadagnini, family of famous Italian violin makers. Lorenzo Guadagnini (1689-1748) used the label “Laurentius Guadagnini, alumnus Antonius Stradivarius,” and he may have studied with Stradivarius in Cremona shortly before the latter’s death in 1737. Lorenzo’s son, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (b. Cremona, 1711; d. Turin, Sept. 18, 1786), received his training presumably from his father, and may have been with him at the shop of Stradivarius. He followed his father from Cremona to Piacenza (1740-49), worked in Milan (1749-58), was in Parma (1759-71), and then settled in Turin. His violins are regarded as the finest of the Guadagninis. His 2 sons, Giuseppe Guadagnini (1736-1805) and Gaetano Guadagnini (1745-1831), continued the family tradition and manufactured some good instruments, but failed to approach the excellence of their father’s creations. Violin-making remained the family’s occupation through 4 more generations in Turin. The last representative, Paolo Guadagnini, perished in the torpedoing of an Italian ship, on Dec. 28, 1942.


E. Doring, The G. Family of Violin Makers (Chicago, 1949).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire