Antonio Stradivari

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Related to Antonio Stradivari: Niccolo Paganini, Antonius Stradivarius, Ibn Battuta
Antonio Stradivari
BirthplaceCremona, Italy
EducationApprenticeship with unknown

Stradivari, Antonio

Stradivari, Antonio (äntôˈnyō strädēväˈrē), or Antonius Stradivarius (ăntōˈnēəs strădĭvârˈēəs), 1644–1737, Italian violin maker of Cremona; pupil of Niccolò Amati. He was apprenticed to Amati c.1658 and may have remained with him until Amati's death in 1684. Stradivari's earliest extant label is dated 1666 and his last 1737. His finest instruments were made after 1700. He produced at least 1,116 instruments, of which 540 violins, 12 violas, and 50 cellos were known. He also made fine viols, guitars, and mandolins. His workmanship brought the violin to perfection, and later artisans have tried to imitate his instruments. His commissions included those from James II of England and Charles III of Spain. Many of his instruments have acquired names, often for buyers or players, e.g., the violins the Paganini (1680), the Viotti (1709), the Lipinski (1715), and the Khevenhüller (1733) and the cello the Davidov (1712), now played by Yo-Yo Ma. Two of Stradivari's sons, Francesco Stradivari (1671–1743) and Omobono Stradivari (1679–1742), worked with him and continued the craft after his death, producing a number of fine instruments.


See studies by A. E. and W. H. Hill (1902) and H. K. Goodkind (1973); T. Faber, Stradivari's Genius (2005).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stradivari, Antonio


(also Stradivarius). Born 1643 (or 1648 or 1649) in Cremona; died there Dec. 18, 1737. Italian master violin-maker.

A student of N. Amati, Stradivari opened his own workshop circa 1667. For many years he made instruments in the style of his teacher, but in 1704 he produced an even better model. From 1704 to 1725 he produced the best concert-quality violins, known for their clear, rich timbre. Stradivari’s instruments are famous for their artistically perfect design, elegance, and harmonious form, as well as for their meticulously chosen wood and beautiful finish. Stradivari also made cellos and violas.

The greatest modern musicians play instruments made by Stradivari. The Soviet state’s collection of rare musical instruments in Moscow contains several of his violins, violas, and cellos, which are loaned to outstanding Soviet musicians for concerts. Stradivari taught his craft to his two sons, Francesco (1671–1743) and Omobono (1679–1742), and to C. Bergonzi.


Vitachek, E. F. Ocherki po istorii izgotovleniia smychkovykhinstrumentov, 2nd ed. Edited by B. V. Dobrokhotova. Moscow, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) was an Italian luthier and a crafter of string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas, and harps.
The data on the dealer sales were gathered from "Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari" (Goodkind 1972) and "Antonio Stradivari: His Life and Work" (Hill and Sons 1901).
Antonio Stradivari used only the finest woods to handcraft his violins, and each violin instrument, while essentially the same in appearance, produced an original, unique sound.
* A Stradivarius is a stringed instrument crafted by members of the Stradivari family, namely Antonio Stradivari, in the 15th and 16th centuries.
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