Posted on January 3, 2010April 13, 2023 by Dale Phillips Review: Stradivari by Stewart Pollens Review: Stradivari by Stewart Pollens Reviewed by David Gusset Originally published in American Lutherie #103, 2010 Stradivari by Stewart Pollens ISBN: 978-0521873048 Cambridge University Press, 2010 For over 200 years, Antonio Stradivari has been universally regarded as the greatest violin maker who ever lived, yet it is not widely known that he made virtually every kind of bowed and plucked string instrument popular in the Baroque period, including lutes, guitars, mandolins, viols, harps, and bows. And what do we actually know about the man and about his life and times? For a start, Antonio Stradivari (the Latinized form of his name “Antonius Stradiuarius” can be seen on the labels he inserted in his instruments) lived and worked in Cremona, Italy. He was born sometime between 1644 and 1649 and died in 1737 and was the successor to three previous generations of Cremonese violin makers of the Amati family. What do we know about Stradivari’s working methods, about how he designed and built his instruments? Certainly a lot can be learned from studying the more than 600 of his instruments that still exist, although many of us regrettably may never have the experience of studying firsthand his instruments inside and out. Furthermore, almost all of those surviving instruments have been altered in the process of repair and modernization. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.