Violin Maker
Francesco Bissolotti

Cremona, Italy

Master Francesco Bissolotti was one of the greatest violin makers of the second half of the 1900s. Together with others, Bissolotti led the most recent revival of Cremonese violin making tradition, developing his very own approach and style. Bissolotti teached to several generations os young makers over the last decades of the 20th century, and his legacy is notable in many of the current cremonese great makers of today.Read more

Short Bio

Full Name: Francesco Bissolotti


Experience: 66 Years

New making style: New


Acknowledged Maker Worldwide

Master maker

Cremonese Traditional Handcraftsmanship

Background as a Musician

Locally making

Cremona, Italy

Maker Background

Bissolotti started his career as a woodworker in the 40's, until when he enroled the Violin Making School in Cremona in 1957, under the guidance of Masters Pietro Sgarabotto, Giuseppe Ornati, and Ferdinando Garimberti. Among its great influencers, Ferdinando Sacconi played a very important role in the definition of Bissolotti's style. A very notable aspect of Sacconi's influence, was Bissolotti's use of the italian traditional internal mould for the construction of the instruments, which Bissolotti brought back to Cremona in a period when it was unusual for the local makers.

Until 1982, Bissolotti teached at Cremona Violin Making School, which gave him the possibility of passing forward the revival of the internal mould method to the new generations of violin makers, and spread it to be again the standard in cremonese crafting.

In 1973, the year of Sacconi's death, Bissolotti and some colleagues promoted the foundation of the ACLAP (Cremonese Association of Professional Violin Makers), devoted to the promotion of the, almost forgotten, traditional cremonese methods of violinmaking. In 1980, this same group, led by Master Bissolotti, conceived and put into action the idea of a travelling exhibition of the traditional cremonese methods, with the goal of making it widely known again. The exhibition aimed to reveal details of the traditional process of violin making, at the time mostly considered secrets, and traveled all over Europe, roadshowing methods of the classical Cremonese system used by Bissolotti and his school. The construction techniques used by Amati, Guarneri and Stradivari, originally conceived for the construction of baroque instruments, were adapted by Sacconi and Bissolotti for the construction of the modern violin

From his retirement from the violin making school in 1982, until his death in 2019, Master Bissolotti devoted his time to his workshop and new making, diving into a very productive period, in which he crafted most of his violins, violas and cellos, and passed his learnings forward to his sons.

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