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date: 19 February 2020


  • Charles Beare
  • , revised by Carlo Chiesa
  •  and Philip J. Kass


Italian family of violin makers. The patriarch of the family, Andrea Amati (b before 1511; d Cremona, 24 Dec 1577), was possibly the founder of modern violin making; certainly he was the first violin maker to work in Cremona, the city whose name today is synonymous with the craft. Little is known of his life. His earliest documented instrument, a violin with three strings dated 1546, was still in existence in Milan at the beginning of the 19th century, according to a contemporary source. Of his surviving instruments – violins of two sizes, large violas (tenors) and large cellos – most have the coat-of-arms of Charles IX of France painted on the back and are dated between 1564 and 1574. The authenticity of these instruments has recently been challenged. If they are genuine then, Andrea must have been working well before that time for his fame to have reached the French court prior to the commissioning of these instruments (...

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Early Music