Didactic Courses-Workshops-Masterclasses


Masterclass of lutherie for acoustic guitar and mandolin 

Friday 24th, Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th September 2021

Masterclass room 1 of the Cremona Fair offices

Teachers: Master luthier ENRICO BOTTELLI (IT) – Master luthier LORENZO LIPPI (IT)
remote connection with Master luthier JOHN MONTELEONE (US) and Master luthier STEVE GILCHRIST (AUS)

Interventions and translations by Massimo Gatti.
Translation and assistance by M° Max Monterosso, M° Mirko Borghino

Cost of 230,00 euros



Master luthier ENRICO BOTTELLI (IT)

Enrico Bottelli was born in Milano, Italy, in 1961. He has been building classical guitars slowly, meticulously, lovingly since 1988. His magnificent concert instruments are esteemed and requested world wide by professional musicians and collectors for their elegant and refined visual beauty, musical qualities and precise craftsmanship enhanced by a flawless french polished shellac varnish.
His first experience in luthiery was in 1981 under the guidance of Master luthier Carlo Raspagni.
In 1982 he learned the steel string guitar construction with the renowned maker and artist Ervin Somogyi, in Berkeley, Ca.
From 1988 to 1993 he studied the innovative Kasha system under U.S luthier Richard Schneider.
Then in 1994 and 1995, he studied the traditional Spanish approach to classical guitar making under the great master José Luis Romanillos.
It was as a result of this intense contact with Romanillos that Enrico Bottelli descovered the early 20th century work of the other great Spanish masters.
Bottelli’s concert guitars derive much inspiration from the iconic guitars of Antonio de Torres and H. Hauser I, whose instruments he has examined and studied extensively.
Today his instruments are especially known for the wide range of delicate beautiful tone colors and balanced blend of deep bass notes, warm mid-range and clear, round, well defined singing trebles.
All of his guitars are built to order and tailored to meet the musical and aesthetic requests of customers. In some instruments the decorative aspect and the choice of rare beautiful woods take on such importance that they can be considered objects of art as well as musical instruments.
Enrico Bottelli’s work has been displayed at numerous important exhibitions and conventions in Italy, Europe and the U.S.A. His rare, much sought after art guitars are offered by the most select dealers in Europe, U.S.A and Japan.  www.bottelliguitars.com

The craft of lutherie: classical guitars, between art and handicraft

1st day – Friday 24th, from 10am to 1pm

  • Spanish classical guitars, projects of the best luthiers, sound characteristics
  • Contemporary classical guitars, new trends
  • Bottelli’s classical guitar
  • Questions

2nd day – Saturday 25th, from 10am to 1pm

  • Hints on the Spanish construction method. Bottelli will show some instrument parts and the assembly technique.
  • Project and construction choices in relation to the desired sound (how to progress from project to sound, some guidelines)
  • Lutherie between art and handicraft, Bottelli’s vision of Lutherie
  • Questions

Master luthier LORENZO LIPPI (IT)

Lorenzo Lippi has been considered for a long time one of the most esteemed Italian luthier, well known for his refined works and for the high sound quality of his instruments. He started his career mostly involved in building antique instruments and later, for years, also in classical guitars and mandolins. He is deeply experienced as teacher at the “Civica Scuola di Liuteria” in Milan, where, since 1979, he had an active role in training a big part of the current Italian luthiers and several foreign luthiers as well.
Well known also for his organologic and technologic studies, he is author of several releases; recently he has written some items for the new edition of “Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments”; he is often invited to give lectures and master class overseas.
First Prize and Gold Medal at the “Third International Instrument Making Competition” in Pisogne (BS). Several musicians all over the world (Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, France, Austria, USA, Switzerland, China, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico and Greece) perform with Lorenzo Lippi’s instruments.    www.lippi.net

The making of modern mandolin: history of the Roman mandolin and comparison between Roman and Neapolitan crafting techniques

1st day – Saturday 25th, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm

  • Hints on the history of the Roman mandolin and the “invention” of the modern Roman mandolin by G.B.Maldura in 1884
  • Evolution of the original model up until Embergher
  • Embergher’s style and crafting technique from his debut in Arpino until his success and the transfer of his factory (evolution of models and techniques, experiments of the early years and following standardization)

2nd day – Sunday 26th, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm

  • Differences between Roman and Neapolitan crafting techniques: analysis of historical examples and their modernity
  • Stylistic and crafting characteristics of the most important Roman and Neapolitan luthiers

During the seminar there will be plenty of time for questions and contributions by  the participants.
The seminar will be supported by extensive bibliographic and photographic documentation and by the direct analysis of original instruments, both for the aesthetic “stylistic” part and for the crafting part, also making use of investigative equipment (eg endoscopes, digital microscope, etc.).
Information on relevant techniques will also be provided to acquire crafting information from the original instruments, examining low-cost and easy to find instruments.
Participants will receive a gift: a detailed relief of a Roman instrument chosen from the last ones published by the speaker (Mandolin De Santis, Mandolin quartino Embergher, Mandoloncello Embergher) and visible on the website 

Master luthier JOHN MONTELEONE (US)

John Monteleone was born in Manhattan in 1947 and was raised on Long Island. He had taught himself at an early age to build guitars and began professionally restoring and building stringed musical instruments in 1973 after graduating at Tarkio College with a degree to teach music.
Recognized as being one of the finest living archtop guitar and mandolin makers in the world today, John Monteleone has been at the forefront of innovative cutting-edge archtop instrument making for many years.
His uniquely designed instruments are the essence of artistic expression, reflected in the subtle but challenging marriage of form and function.
John Monteleone has been pushing the luthiery envelope for more than forty years with his refreshing passion for new and elegant designs. Producing instruments of great tonal expression is also one of Monteleone’s missions in life.
A dedication to the refined harmonic balances of tone and playability is always the central nucleus of structural foundation around which he often introduces the more interesting design accents and playful nature of his original and beautiful works.
Great guitarists, such as Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Pat Metheny, Woody Mann, Mike Marshall and many others own and play Monteleone’s guitars and mandolins.
Some of his instruments are now exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. https://monteleone.net/

Friday 24th, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm, remote connection with Islip NY – introduction and assistance by Massimo Gatti
Monteleone Grand Artist mandolins and other related mandolin experiences
John Monteleone will focus on the mandolin and will most likely be bringing one with him to talk about.  He will also discuss and show slides of his restoration of Mike Marshall’s Lloyd Loar mandolin that he did a number of years ago.  He will also be talking about the mandocello that he made for Mike, as well as the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

Master luthier STEVE GILCHRIST (Australia)

Luthier Steve Gilchrist was born in 1955 in Warrnambool, a town in the state of Victoria in the Southeastern part of Australia. His first mandolin memories come from just looking at and holding his brother’s old bowl back mandolin. Later on while attending art school and building surfboards, his interest in mandolins surfaced again and he began drawing plans from magazines and album covers of Bill Monroe as there were no actual F-5’s available to him for study. Using Monroe’s fingers as a scale reference he actually drew plans, built molds, and constructed his first instruments.
At 21 he moved to the state capital of Melbourne where he continued to build instruments, but more importantly, he began getting a lot of work repairing instruments. This, of course, gave him access to original instruments and the quality of his work began a rapid improvement.
In 1978 Steve returned to Warrnambool where he established Gilchrist Mandolins and Guitars. The following year he traveled to the U.S. to gain better access to wood and materials for his work, and to find and study more original instruments.
During his visit he became friends with reknowned vintage expert George Gruhn. At Gruhn Guitars he studied and researched dozens of classic vintage instruments and met many talented musicians that, in turn, inspired a new level of motivation and development in his work. It was during this time that he met his longtime friend David Grisman, who as Steve says,” then and now, has encouraged and inspired me every step of the way.”
After this intense sojourn to the U.S., Steve returned to Warrnambool to set up a new workshop. He worked diligently filling the orders that had been generated from his exposure in Nashville. Throughout the 80’s he continued to supply instruments to Gruhn Guitars as well as taking direct orders from customers around the world.
In 1992, through an association with David Grisman and Dexter Johnson, Carmel Music Co. became the exclusive U.S. distributor of Gilchrist guitars and mandolins. Over the years we have had the pleasure of working with a great number of wonderful and talented musicians including David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Mike Compton, Aubrie Haynie, Ricky Skaggs, Buck White, Tom Rozum, Matt Flinner, Andy Statman, Jerry Garcia, Tommy Comeaux, Butch Baldassari and members of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, G.E. Smith, Evan Marshall, and many more.
Steve lists his main influences as, “Lloyd Loar and all the engineers and craftsmen at “The Gibson” plant between 1910 and 1925.”

Sunday 26th, from 10am to 1pm, remote connection with Australia – introduction and assistance by Massimo Gatti
Steve Gilchrist will talk about his history and knowledge of mandolins, starting from the expertise on Gibson mandolins up to the birth and success of “Gilchrist Guitars and Mandolins”.

Masterclass of didactic techniques for acoustic guitar

In this 2021 edition, the acoustic guitar teaching masterclass will not be held, due to the impossibility of foreign teachers expected to be able to travel to Italy. The masterclass is postponed to 2022, from October 2021 we will publish the names of teachers and programs.

Masterclass room 2 of the Cremona Fair offices

 Teachers: Master ………………..

Translation and assistance by Camilla Conti

Cost of 230 euros




Conferences – Workshops – Events


Conferences, workshops, meetings and events will be held at the Acoustic Guitar Village inside Cremona Musica International Exhibitions and Festival, Cremona Fair on September 24th-25th-26th, 2021.


Friday 24th, Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th September 2021,
room 1 of the Cremona Fair offices:

Masterclass of lutherie for acoustic guitar and mandolin. Teachers: M. Enrico Bottelli (Ita),   M. Lorenzo Lippi (Ita) remote connection with M. John Monteleone (Usa), M. Steve Gilchrist (Australia)
Interventions and translations by Massimo Gatti
Translations by Max Monterosso e Mirko Borghino

– Masterclass of didactic techniques for acoustic guitar:

In this 2021 edition, the acoustic guitar teaching masterclass will not be held, due to the impossibility of foreign teachers expected to be able to travel to Italy. The masterclass is postponed to 2022, from October 2021 we will publish the names of teachers and programs.

info and registration: info@armadilloclub.org – tel. +39 0187 626993 – +39 0372 598011 – program and registration forms at the dedicated page.


Event dedicated to the mandolin, the little-great string instrument.

Artistic Direction by M. Carlo Aonzo with the collaboration and the historical advice of M. liutaio Lorenzo Frignani.

Coordinated by Alessio Ambrosi e Ass. Cult. Armadillo APS

Click here to read the whole detailed program of the event.

  • Historical Exhibition “Traveling with the Mandolin” curated by Master luthiers Leonardo Petrucci and Martina Gozzini
  • Conference “The Golden Age of the Mandolin”, meeting-conference that will allow you to discuss the construction characteristics of the most important and representative manufacturers active between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, as well as the thriving repertoire that emerged in the same period. A prominent era for the mandolin and all its family of voices, that saw the birth of real orchestras and a host of professionals and enthusiasts of this small but wonderful instrument – which went beyond national borders and reached continents all around the world.
    With the presence and interventions of M° Lorenzo Lippi, il M° Ugo Orlandi, il M° Carlo Aonzo, moderated by M° Lorenzo Frignani.
  • Conference “The mandolin: construction techniques and choice of materials”, an adventure between lutherie and scientific research within the project Choice of wood in musical instruments: Italian Red Spruce and traditional mandolins, curated by the master luthiers Federico Gabrielli and Martino Quintavalla.
  • Desk for disclosure of mandolin activities
  • Presentation and performances of orchestras and plucked ensembles on Open Stage 1 outside the pavilions Performances of: I Solisti della Napoli Mandolin’ Orchestra, Maestro Mauro Squillante – Orchestra Gino Neri di Ferrara, Maestro Stefano Squarzina – Mutinae Plectri (Modena), Maestro Cecilia Vaccari – Orchestra Il Plettro (Gardone Val Trompia, BS) – Ensemble Mandolinistico Estense (Modena), Maestro Roberto
    Palumbo – Choro, Liscio e Mandolini, (Bologna) con Antonio Stragapede (chitarra, mandolino), Marco
    Ruviaro (chitarra 7 corde, bandolim) e Barbara Piperno (voce, flauto) – Orchestra a plettro Città di Milano.
    Particolare attenzione sulle realtà giovanili: Le Pizziche (Roma) del Maestro Francesco Mirarchi –
    Estudiantina Bergamasca a cura di Redi Lamçja – Ensemble Giovanile Paniati (Asti) del Maestro Amelia
  • Workshops with Master Carlo Aonzo

    Saturday 25th, 10-12am: “The virtuoso repertoire for solo mandolin: analysis of the historical solo works; musical praxis and technical solutions (Riggieri, Calace, Milanesi); the philological approach vs the free interpretation”. Dedicated to expert players.

    Sunday 26th, 2-4pm: “The ‘modal method’: a technique to approach the knowledge of the mandolin fingerboard. How to build patterns as reference points useful for all musical genres (classical, jazz, bluegrass)”. Dedicated to all players.

    The conferences, workshops and live exhibitions are free to participate with an entrance ticket to Cremona Musica.

HISTORICAL EXHIBITIONS (inside the Acoustic Guitar Village area)

“TRAVELING WITH THE MANDOLIN” curated by Master luthiers Leonardo Petrucci and Martina Gozzini

“MUSIC IS OUR LIFE” exhibition of ethnical string instruments from all over the world, curated by M° Bruno Brunetti

“Vintage Authority” expert in the world of collecting and vintage and organizer of the event VINTAGE & GUITAR EXPO in Reggio Emilia (www.vintageauthority.com). It will be present at the AGV on September 24-25-26 with an exhibiton corner where everybody will be able to admire beautiful collectible vintage guitars: the world of vintage at the highest level!


“Orchestra a Plettro Città di Milano”: ensemble born in 1960 from “Accademia Mandolinistica di Milano” and “Circolo Mandolinistico Rinald”. Director M ° Augusto Scibilia. (performing: Sunday 26, 12.30pm, Live Stage 2)

“Crossover Guitar Orchestra”: youth orchestra of classical guitars and accordion conducted by Prof.ssa Rita Di Tizio (performing: Sunday 26, 2.30 pm, Open Stage 1 )

“Demo Reference Cable”: with Stefano Santangelo & Edoardo”Edo”Martine, Anita De Luca and Luca Zanetti (performing: Saturday 25, 2.45 pm, Open Stage 1 – Sunday 26, 1.00 pm, Open Stage 1 – Sunday 26, 11.30 pm, Live Stage 2)

CONFERENCES-WORKSHOPS-PRESENTATIONS (in the Events Area, dedicated space inside the Acoustic Guitar Village)

– 4th Meeting “The guitar in Italy between the 19th and 20th centuries” organized by Master Francesco Taranto

Photos of the 2019-2018-2017-2016-2015 exhibitions and events: