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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.