Stradivari (Latinized as Stradivarius), Antonio

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Stradivari (Latinized as Stradivarius), Antonio

Stradivari (Latinized as Stradivarius), Antonio, celebrated Italian violin maker; b. probably in Cremona, 1644; d. probably there, Dec. 18, 1737. He was a pupil of Niccolò Amati in the early 1660s. His earliest known violin dates from 1666; he may have worked for Amati and others from 1666 before purchasing the house that contained his workshop from 1680. His finest instruments were made in the period from 1700 to 1725, but he still worked up to the year of his death; he made his last instrument at the age of 92. His label reads: “Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis. Fecit Anno…(A x S).” His cellos command even higher prices than the violins, and violas the highest of all, for he made very few of them. Stradivari had 11 children; of them Francesco (b. Feb. 1, 1671; d. May 11, 1743) and Omobono (b. Nov. 14, 1679; d. July 8, 1742) were his co-workers. Stradivari also made viols of early types, guitars, lutes, mandolins, etc.


F.J. Fétis, A. S., Luthier célèbre (Paris, 1856; Eng. tr., London, 1864); P. Lombardini, Cenni sulla celebre scuola Cremonense degli strumenti ad arco e sulla famiglia del sommo A. S. (Cremona, 1872); A. Reichers, The Violin and the Art of Its Construction; A Treatise on S. (1895); H. Petherick, A. S. (London, 1900); W.H., A.F., and A.E. Hill, A. S. His Life and Work (London, 1902); A. Mandelli, Nuove indagini su A. S. (Milan, 1903); H. Herrmann, Geschichte und Beschreibung von zwei Meisterwerken des A. S. (N.Y., 1929); R. Bacchetta, S. (1937); G. Hoffmann, S. l’enchanteur (Paris, 1938); W. Orcutt, The S. Memorial at Washington, D.C.(Washington, D.C., 1938); M. Boger, Das Geheimnis des S. (Berlin, 1944); D. Balfoort, A. S. (Amsterdam, 1945; also in Eng.); E. Doring, How Many Strads?…A Tabulation of Works Believed to Survive, Produced in Cremona by A. S. between 1666 and 1737 (Chicago, 1945); G. Ottani, S. (Milan, 1945); H. Goodkind, Violin Iconography of A. S. 1644–1737 (Larchmont, N.Y., 1972); S. Sacconi, I “segreti” di S. (Cremona, 1972); E. Santoro, A. S. (Cremona, 1987).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Stradivari (Latinized as Stradivarius), Antonio

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