Didactic Courses-Workshops-Masterclasses


Masterclass of lutherie for acoustic guitar and mandolin 

Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th September 2020

Masterclass room 1 of the Cremona Fair offices

Teachers: Master luthier ENRICO BOTTELLI (IT) – Master luthier JOHN MONTELEONE (US) – Master luthier LORENZO LIPPI (IT)
Master John Monteleone, unable to physically attend to travel problems from the United States, will be remotely connected from his laboratory and will still offer his lesson and expertise.






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

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 25th, 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 26th, 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 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/

Monteleone mandolins and arch-top guitars

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

The evolution of Monteleone arch-top guitars

The first day of the program John Monteleone will talk about arch-top guitars: past, present and future. He will talk about the foundation of this style of guitar building and the thematic designs that he has created over the years. How this marvelous instrument  has  changed to become both a collectible instrument and a musicians tool of choice.

2nd day – Sunday 27th, from 10am to 1pm

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 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 26th, 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 27th, 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 www.lippi.net


Masterclass of didactic techniques for acoustic guitar

Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th September 2020

Masterclass room 2 of the Cremona Fair offices








Translation and assistance by Camilla Conti

Cost of 230 euros




Francesco Buzzurro began to play the guitar at the age of 6, and in his youth he rapidly achieved his Diploma at the Bellini Conservatory of Palermo. He then studied at the International Arts Academy in Rome under the guidance of Stefano Palamidessi and great concert artists such as David Russell, Alberto Ponce, Hopkinson Smith and John Duarte.
After graduating in Foreign Languages ​​and Literatures, he developed an intense concert activity that led him to travel all over the world.
As a classical guitarist, he won three national competitions: the “City of Alassio” and the “Benedetto Albanese” of Caccamo in Sicily and the “Savona in Music”.
His study of classical music and his passion for folk music were soon accompanied by his interest in jazz, which led him to obtain a degree in Jazz Music with an honorable mention. Thanks to a deep research activity in this musical field, he finds a personal and unique style of improvisation, with contaminations of bossanova, ethnic music and Latin-jazz.
For his reputation as guitarist outside the box and for his peculiar technique of improvisation on classical guitar, he is annually invited by the University of Southern California of Los Angeles as a teacher in unified seminars for the classical and jazz guitar departments.
He holds the chair of Jazz Guitar of the Giuseppe Martucci conservatory of Salerno.
Today Francesco Buzzurro is one of the most appreciated and multifaceted guitarists, voted by the famous magazine Musica Jazz as one of the most talented artists on the international guitar scene.   www.francescobuzzurro.it


The masterclass aims to engage the participants in the study of the Latin-jazz guitar through theoretical and practical lessons, with the purpose of deepening both their repertoire and improvisation skills, which can also be used in pop and related contexts. The knowledge of the basic harmonization techniques on the guitar will enable students to perform standard world music, and to be able to gradually re-elaborate it in a personal way.
There is no foreclosure to the type of guitar used by the participants, since the fundamental purpose of the class is to encourage them to be creative regardless of the specific techniques of the instrument used. Therefore, essential goal of the masterclass is to enhance the experience and the background of each musician, filtering it through the light of the jazz styles.


Friday 25th September, from 10am to 1pm


  • Basic right hand techniques in right hand jazz finger style;
  • Technical and theoretical study of the mechanisms that regulate the functioning of the guitar from the harmonic point of view;
  • The harmonized scales – study hypotheses;
  • Melodization of the chords and the movement of the static chords maj7-min.7-dom7-dim.-half dim.- on the whole fretboard;
  • Main major and minor cadences, that are the harmonic movements most recurring in musical pieces; the Turnarounds;
  • Rhythm guitar in Swing and Brazilian music;

Sunday 27th September, from 10am to 1pm


  • Technical and theoretical study of the mechanisms that regulate the functioning of guitar from a melodic point of view;
  • Exploration of the keyboard and display of scales and arpeggios in the various boxes;
  • The importance of the playing position;
  • The control of alternating bass in the execution of scales, arpeggios and intervals;
  • Fundamental aspects of improvisation: rationality and instinct;
  • Guide notes, tensions emphasis and diatonic extensions of the chords;
  • Diatonic and chromatic approaches

Sunday 27th September, from 2pm to 5pm


  • From the theme to polyphony;
  • Choosing the key;
  • The walking bass;
  • Substitutions and secondary dominants;
  • The groove: style and stylistic coherence;
  • Movement of the parts;
  • Directions of phrasing;
  • Dropchords;
  • Conclusions;


  • Smart set list and choice of repertoire;
  • Curve of emotions;
  • The musician and the audience: dialogue or monologue?
  • Social messages and values of music;
  • Sound, stage and lights;
  • The importance of management and team play;



Beppe Gambetta is a guitarist, singer, researcher and composer. Acoustic style Virtuoso, he developed a style in which American and European roots manage to emerge together as a single voice. His career is based on his life “on the road”, but also on research, the “revival”, and the teaching of ancient forgotten music. At home in the United States, where he lives and works part of the year, he has always brought Genoa with him as a source of inspiration. Indeed he has always been proud of its native city, meeting Genoese emigrants of different generations everywhere in the world. Genoa was the inspiration for compositions and whole CDs (“Blu di Genova” is the title of the CD produced in 2003,) and traditional Ligurian music has always been present in his works. He also rearranged and brought with him the music of great Genoese singers and songwriters. In 1995 he made the first acoustic cover of “Creuza De Ma”, and has always proudly included a song by Fabrizio De Andrè (little known in the USA) in his American shows. For 20 years he has produced the shows “Acoustic Nights” at the National Theater of Genoa, inviting artists from the American scene and attracting a large international audience. His new album entitled Where The Wind Blows / Dove Tia O Vento (Borealis Records, May 2020), alludes to the renewal – not only in the double title, English and Genoese. It includes ten original songs in which Beppe Gambetta rediscovers himself as songwriter and electric guitarist, while the “title track” Dove Tia O Vento was a finalist at the prestigious Targhe Tenco 2020.


Developed by great artists (Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Tony Rice and many others) in the context of North American “Roots Music”, Flatpicking (popular plectrum guitar) is present in countless cultures and musical traditions with different functions – ranging from accompaniment to the performance of solos, to the participation in complex arrangements, to its own original compositions.
The masterclass aims to broaden the artistic perspectives by deepening the Flatpicking style. Beppe will share fifty years of experience on the road, analyzing in the most artistically significant details the music of his fathers as well as some fundamental examples of his personal style. In the foreground will be the examples with which Beppe has opened the doors of creativity to his most acclaimed projects. The course will touch upon research, transcription, arrangement, and production of original music, all seen with the transversal perspective of the traveler who touches different cultures capturing their affinity and diversity.
Flatpicking will be dealt as a primary expressive style as well as an aesthetic resource to influence the creativity of those who play different styles but still want to express themselves with their own and unique voice. The basic topics will be introduced with standard tuning, but different tunings will also be treated with their essential characteristics

Calendar Master BEPPE GAMBETTA

Friday 25th September, from 2pm to 5pm

  • The fundamental technique;
  • Carter Style;
  • Fiddle Tunes;
  • The example of the great fathers of music;
  • Flatpicking for a soloist and in the sound of an ensemble;
  • The subtle dynamics of the back-up;
  • Listening and commenting on pieces proposed by the participants;

Saturday 26th September, from 10am to 1pm

  • The tools of the trade;
  • The multiple functions of the guitar in an arrangement;
  • Traditional Crosspicking;
  • “Down-down-up” on bichords;
  • The open tunings, “friends” of Flatpicking;
  • Mediterranean sounds on plectrum guitars;
  • Listening and commenting on pieces proposed by the participants;

Saturday 26th September, from 2pm to 5pm

  • Creative uses of Crosspicking;
  • Research, transcription and adaptation for Flatpicking guitars;
  • Popular Italian and Mediterranean sounds in the creativity of Fabrizio De Andrè and other songwriters;
  • Criteria of self-criticism in the composition process;
  • Details of the style that are not learned through exercise;
  • The performer musician, preparation for the concert;
  • Listening and commenting on pieces proposed by the participants;