Cremona Musica International Exhibitions and Festival Presents Cremona Mandolini in Mostra


Ugo Orlandi, Carlo Aonzo and Alex Timmerman will present talks and presentations during The Second Annual Cremona Musica International Exhibitions and Festival – September 23-25. 

One of the most important music fairs in Europe and the hometown of Antonio Stradivari, the exhibition includes high-quality musical instruments, including “Mandolini in Mostra,” an international event focusing on mandolin.

Now at its second edition after the great success of last year, “Mandolini in Mostra” is led by Italian mandolin great Carlo Aonzo, Artistic Director for the mandolin presence at the fair. Aonzo will be joined by Master luthiers Lorenzo Frignani and Leonardo Petrucci.

International guests of Cremona Musica will include Mike Marshall who will perform live; Alex Timmerman, collector and expert from the Netherlands; and Ugo Orlandi, Maestro and teacher.

About the event, Alessio Ambrosi, Artistic Advisor of Cremona Musica and organizer said, “For the first time, the greatest mandolin experts from all over the world will come together here in Cremona. We will describe its history and evolution during the years, we will analyze its making and constructions and also address execution and interpreting techniques.”

Partial Event Listing

Masterclass on the Baroque solo repertoire (technique and improvisation: Vivaldi, Cecere and Giuliani) held by Maestro Carlo Aonzo will take place on September 24-25 from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Exhibition of historical instruments by the master luthier Lorenzo Frignani (every day inside the Acoustic Guitar Village exhibition area).

Conference: “The Art of the Mandolin,” meeting with contemporary luthiers; moderator Lorenzo Frignani. At the speakers’ table the mandolin exhibitors of the “Luthier’s Row” of the AGV.

Conference-round table: “The teaching of the mandolin: where are we?” curated by Lorenzo Frignani and Carlo Aonzo. Speakers Ugo Orlandi, Alex Timmerman and various teachers of music schools and conservatories.

Conference: “Discovering the true Paganini of the Mandolin: Pietro Vimercati,” speakers Alex Timmerman, Ugo Orlandi, Carlo Aonzo. Introduction by Lorenzo Frignani.

Conference “Faithful copy of historical mandolins: how close can we get to the original instruments?” In a path that winds through music, history and science, the results obtained in the copy of a specimen of baroque mandolin by luthier Joseph Filano will be illustrated. Speakers Martino Quintavalla and Federico Gabrielli.

Conference-concert on the figure of Raffaele Calace and the plectrum and plucked instruments of the time, by Roberto Guarnieri on guitar and Eugenio Palumbo on mandolin.

Presentation of the book Il Mandolino Blues – From Mississippi to the Mediterranean, roots, contaminations and modern styles – Edizioni – Foreword by Mike Marshall, Carlo Aonzo, Rich Del Grosso. With the participation of the authors Stefano Tavernese and Lino Muoio, the publisher Reno Brandoni and the artists Carlo Aonzo and Mike Marshall.

Review of orchestras, plucked ensembles, mandolin clubs from various parts of Italy. There will be: Popular Mandolin Orchestra (Carderara di Reno, Bologna), Le Pizziche (Rome), Estense Mandolin Ensemble (Modena), Amici del Mandolino Orchestra (Milan), Tita Marzuttini Orchestra (Udine), City of Milan plectrum orchestra, Mutinae Plectri (Modena), Gino Neri Orchestra (Ferrara), Eliante Orchestra (Switzerland) and other mandolin clubs.

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Alex Timmerman’s interest in the guitar and mandolin started when he was in his early teens as a player of both instruments. Later, during his studies at the Music High school it quickly grew into a fascination and real research started with reading about- and locating old plucked instruments in museums and private collections. This soon led to the organisation of several mandolin and guitar exhibitions and later to a guest curator-ship at the Haags Gemeentemuseum (The Hague, Netherlands).

For one of these exhibitions Alex wrote the reference book ‘De Gitaar en de Mandoline door de eeuwen heen’ (1994) (translated: The guitar and the mandolin through the ages). It is because of the demand for this book that he noticed a World-wide growing interest in this subject. Nowadays, he is being consulted about nomenclature, historical backgrounds and valuations of plucked instruments by museum curators, auction specialists, private collectors and professional- as well as amateur mandolinists.

Alex Timmerman has given numerous lectures on the subject of plucked instruments at universities, music high schools, symposia and festivals at home and abroad. Interesting in this respect are the occasions like the lecture held during the third symposium of the European Guitar and Mandolin Association (EGMA) in Trossingen, Germany in 2004, for which he was invited to give a lecture titled ‘The Roman mandolin; its development and perfection by Luigi Embergher’. Another highlight was the lecture “La Chitarra, il suo itinerario attraverso la storia dal 1750 a oggi” by Timmerman during the VINCENTE ÁRIAS (1833 – 1914): COSTRUTTORE DI CHITARRE Symposium that took place from 30-09 to 02-10 in 2005 in Vicenza (Italy). In 2006 Alex Timmerman presented the latest results of his research on Austrian and Italian developments with regard to the guitar in Cremona (Italy) at the World famous MONDOMUSICA – Cremona Music Fair held from 6 tot 8 October. On the 4th of November Alex Timmerman was invited to speak at the Convention held in the honour of the 150th birthday of Luigi Embergher (Convegno di Studio e presentazione del Catalogo del Museo della Liuteria “EMBERGHER – CERRONE – 150° Anniversario della nascita del maestro liutaio arpinate Luigi Antonio Embergher). This time he spoke about the development of the mandolin through the ages focussed on the Roman luthiers active from the end of the 17th century up to those who contributed to the completion, like Giovanni Battista Maldura, Giovanni De Santis and Luigi Embergher, of the modern Roman Mandolin around 1900. 

Several essays of his hand have been published in well-known international magazines of which here only will be named a selection: ‘Mandolina I Karasova Rimljanka’ (Karas’ woman with mandolin) in the Croatian magazine ‘Gitara’ of the Croatian dep. of the European Guitar Teachers Association (EGTA); the magazine ‘GuitART’ about Viennese bass-guitars; and last but not least the substantial contribution divided over six issues in the ‘Tabulatuur’, the magazine of the Dutch lute society on the subject of the development of the mandolin from 1600 and onwards. 

After a lecture given in 2000 by Alex Timmerman at the International Musicological Symposium held in Zagreb and Varazdin, Croatia, he and the other speakers at the Symposium were asked to produce a written version of their lectures. For Timmerman this resulted in a substantial chapter of 93 pages and 80 photos, written in the English language, titled ‘Guitars with extra bass strings. Johann Georg Stauffer, his son Johann Anton Stauffer and their Contemporaries’ in the book Ivan Padovec (1800-1873) i njegovo doba / and his time, published in December 2006 by the Croatian Musicological Society in Zagreb. All chapters are related to Padovec and his time, and written by the following authors (complete list): Alessandro Boris Amisich (Padova); Nada Bezić (Zagreb); Zdravko Blažeković (New York); Gorana Doliner (Zagreb); Vedrana Juričić (Zagreb); Vjera Katalinić (Zagreb); Koraljka Kos (Zagreb); Sanja Majer-Bobetko (Zagreb); Snježana; Miklaušić-Ćeran (Zagreb); Alemka Orlić (Zagreb); Mirko Orlić (Zagreb); Rozina Palić-Jelavić (Zagreb); Ljerka Perči (Varaždin); Darko Petrinjak (Zagreb); Alex Timmerman (Zwolle) and Stanislav Tuksar (Zagreb).