Friday, January 11, 2008

luthier's workshops in Valparaiso

Music instruments have been made in Valpo for over a hundred years. Initially, european makers started their business in town repairing, importing and finally making their own branded instruments. Such is the story of the Kirsinger music shop.
Others such as Humberto Kohler (above) and M. Needham are examples of luthier family dinasties that go back to the beginning of the XX century. They traditionally used spruce tops and chilean native woods such as rauli for the back and sides. Later on, luthiers have added chilean douglas fir (pino oregon) and much recently chilean redwood (alerce).
Our city port holds a proud story with local makers of musical instruments that setted their shops in town from mid 1800s onwards. Some of them such as Kirsinger developed as companies making and selling all kind of instruments from mandolins to pianos. More recently others such as Manuel Diaz Garcia, Sergio Apablaza and Luis Harris have added new instruments types such as charango, cuatro, etc. to what was traditionally known. Finally, Fernando Ramirez keeps an organologic museum that is preserving a good part of this story.