Domenico Fantin was born in Varese. He began studying the violin there with Maestro Ariodante Coggi, and graduated from the Academy of Music. Playing led to a serious interest in the acoustics of stringed instruments and the art of violin-making, which in turn led to his building his first violin – entirely self-taught.
In the 1970s, Mr Fantin set up his atelier in Induno Olona, where he still lives and works, devoting himself unceasingly to the quest for the ideal sound, but without neglecting details and the beauty of the instrument as a whole, and the varnish in particular.
During his long career, Domenico Fantin has built more than six hundred instruments, following in the classic tradition of Cremona. He makes violins, violas, and cellos according to his own design, as well as copies of instruments by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù and models inspired by them. He has also restored and set up instruments by prestigious makers including Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù, Guadagnini, and Bergonzi.
Domenico Fantin’s instruments are played in major European and American orchestras, including the La Scala Philharmonic (Milan), the Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo (Naples), the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Mr Fantin is proud to have made instruments for great soloists like Yehudi Menuhin – who purchased one of his violins in 1969 – and Uto Ughi, who owns two of his instruments. Other musicians who play a Fantin violin are Caroline Adomeit and Christian Kim Sitzmann.
Fifty years of care and experience have gone into Domenico Fantin’s search for the most acoustically resonant wood, the perfect construction techniques, and the most suitable varnish. All these contribute to the fine sonority for which his instruments are renowned.