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Related to Guarneri: Stradivarius, Andrea Guarneri


(gwärnĕ`rē) or


(gwärnĕr`ēəs), family of violinmakers of Cremona, Italy. The first craftsman of the family was Andrea Guarneri, c.1626–1698, a pupil of Niccolò AmatiAmati
, Italian family of violinmakers of Cremona. The founder of the Cremona school was Andrea Amati (c.1520–c.1578), whose earliest violins date from c.1564. His labels bore the name Amadus, and he is credited with the basic design of the modern violin.
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. He designed and built his instruments in the Amati fashion. Andrea's two sons, who were his pupils, surpassed him in his work. They were Pietro Giovanni Guarneri, 1655–1720, who worked in Mantua and made several innovations, and Giuseppe Giovan Battista Guarneri, 1666–c.1738, who made superb violins in an original style. The son of Giuseppe Guarneri, Pietro Guarneri, 1695–1762, made his best violins in his later years, following his uncle's pattern for the most part. The greatest violinmaker of the family was Giuseppe Guarneri, 1698–1744, grandnephew of Andrea, called "del Gesù" because he signed his labels with a cross and the letters IHS. He was second only to StradivariStradivari, Antonio
, or Antonius Stradivarius
, 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.
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 in the history of violinmaking. He followed the school of Brescia instead of the Amati in his designs. Giuseppe built varied models to achieve a superb tone so that his instruments are not uniform.


See W. H. Hill, The Violin-Makers of the Guarneri Family (1931).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of Italian violinmakers.

Andrea Guarneri. Born 1622 or 1626 in Cremona; died there Dec. 7, 1698. The oldest representative of the family, Andrea Guarneri studied with N. Amati, and his first instruments were made in the Amati style. Guarneri later changed the model—for example, the ƒ holes have an irregular shape, the soundboard is flatter, and the sides rather low. Instruments made by Andrea Guarneri have a sweet but not very powerful tone.

Pietro Guarneri. Born Feb. 18, 1655, in Cremona; died Mar. 26, 1720, in Mantua. The eldest son of Andrea Guarneri, Pietro Guarneri worked in Cremona and later in Mantua. He made instruments from a model of his own creation (a wide belly, convex soundboards, rounded ƒ holes, and a rather wide scroll). The tone of his instruments is good but devoid of brilliance.

Giuseppe Guarneri. Born Aug. 21, 1698, in Cremona; died there Oct. 17, 1744. A grandson of Andrea Guarneri; known as Giuseppe del Gesù. With A. Stradivari, Giuseppe del Gesù is the greatest Italian violinmaker. He created his own individual style of violin, designed to be played in a large concert hall. His best violins have a powerful and ample tone and are distinguished by expressiveness and diversity of timbre. The first to appreciate the merits of Giuseppe del Gesù’s violins was N. Paganini.

Other Guarneris. Other great violin masters were another son and grandson of Andrea Guarneri, Giuseppe Guarneri, who was born Nov. 25, 1666, in Cremona and died there in 1739, and Pietro Guarneri, who was born Apr. 14, 1695, in Cremona, and died Apr. 7, 1762, in Venice.


Vitachek, E. F. Ocherki po istorii izgotovleniia smychkovykh instrumentov, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Jalovec, K. Italienische Geigenbauer. [Prague, 1957.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Guarnieri, Guarnerius
1. an Italian family of 17th- and 18th-century violin-makers
2. any violin made by a member of this family
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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