Some history on violins:

The art of building violins stood out in the XVII century and the beginning of the XVIII, in the shops of the Italians Antonio Stradivari, and Giuseppe Guarneri, both of Cremona, and of the Austrian Jacob Stainer. During the XIX century the virtuous traveled all over Europe.
Among them they are the Italian Giovanni Viotti and Niccoló Paganini, the Germans Louis Spohr and Joseph Joachim, the Spanish Pablo of Sarasate and the Belgian Henri Vieuxtemps and Eugéne Ysaÿe. In the XX century the violin has reached new artistic and technical achievements with maestros like Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Fritz Kreisler, Jasha Heifetz, Mischa Elman, and David Oistrakh.

Probably the construction in our country began with the arrival of Italian immigrants, at the end of the XIX century and beginning of the XX. Some of the most distinguished manufacturers in the country include Luigi Rovatti, pupil of Giuseppe and Enrico Rocca. Rovatti arrived in Buenos Aires in 1885, he was 24, and he made more than 1.000 instruments, until his death in 1931.
Camilo Mandelli arrived in Buenos Aires in 1889, disciple of Leandro Bisiach and Romeo Antoniazzi, he is considered one of the most outstanding violinmakers that worked in our country.
Another person who improved the art of violinmaking was Giovanni Capalbo, born in Cozenza, (1865-1945), winner of prizes in many international competitions and specially admired by his handmade quality, and his disciple Emilio Petraglia whose work was praised by Kreisler and Thibaud. Petraglia investigated on the use of native Argentine wood in the construction of violins.

The arrival of the Italians was part of influence to the development of Buenos Aires as the main musical center in South America. There are many theaters and concert rooms, (especially the Colón one, built in 1908). They guest a quantity of orchestras and foreign artists and residents, giving as a result a continuous source of musicians that need experts in the construction and repairing, and also a constant flow of guest artists with their instruments.

 

The beginnings of the Karinkanta violinmakers:


Hannes Karinkanta born in Pajala, Finland, arrived with his parents in Argentina when he was 8. After carrying out different occupations he became mechanical technician. His son Arne, born in 1924, in Buenos Aires, was studying violin with the teacher Luis Lafont. One day his instrument suffered some damages of importance; advised by Lafont, father and son went to see to the violinmaker Luigi Rovatti, who recommended them to buy a new instrument, considering the state in which was the old one.
Hannes was not defeated, and thanks to the control he had of the tools with which he normally worked he took to pieces the violin, repaired it and assembled it again.Once the work finished he went with his son to Lafont´s house. The professor praised Karinkanta´s work. Lafont suggested to Hannes to devote himself to the restoration of violins, and why not to making new ones?

In this way, he was a self-made man in the violinmaking business, and he ended up building 40 violins. Thus beginning the course of the Karinkanta family as violinmakers in Argentina.