Villa was born in Monza in 1965. He lives and works in Cremona. He began
studying the violin when he was twelve and later enrolled in the International
School of Violin Making in Cremona.
He graduated in 1983 under the tutelage of masters Giorgio Scolari and Stefano Conia. He obtained the highest possible merit in his final year, a scholarship from the Walter Stauffer Foundation. His apprenticeship in the prestigious workshop of Conia allowed him the opportunity to experience the world of lutherie beyond the confines of the academic setting. He also began to participate in national and international violinmaking competitions, where he was recognised for his talents.
Marcello Villa has been awarded the following prizes, 15 of which "Gold medals":
- finalist in the Poznan Competition (1986)
- gold medal at the Bagnacavallo Young Violin Maker's Competition (1986)
- gold medal at the Baveno Competition (1987)
- gold medal for the quartet presented in the Bagnacavallo Violin Making Exposition (1990)
- silver medal at the 6th Violin Making Triennial Competition in Cremona (1991)
- two gold medals for violin and cello at the Bagnacavallo Exhibition (1992).
In 2009, after a long absence from violinmaking competitions, he took part in two international competitions: the Triennial Violin Making Competition in Cremona and the “Eufonia 2009” Violin Making International Competition in Sofia-Brussels. In these places he won the following prizes:
- Association of Luthiers of Italy prize – silver plate ”for the most personality…” at the Triennial Violin Making Competition in Cremona
-first prize gold medal in “Eufonia 2009” Violin Making Competition
-Gold medal and Certificate from the World Intellectual Property Organisation in “Eufonia 2009” Violin Making Competition
-Association of Luthiers of Italy prize – silver plate in “Eufonia 2009” Violin Making Competition
In 2011 he won the Gold medal A.N.L.A.I. at the V°National Violin Making Competition in Pisogne (BS).
In 2013 he won the Gold medal with a violin, the Gold medal and the Prize for the best acoustic quality with a viola at the VII° National Violin Making Competition A.N.L.A.I. in Mozzate (Co).
In 2015 he won the Gold medal with a violin and the Gold medal with a cello at the IX° National Violin Making Competition A.N.L.A.I. in Cremona.
In May 2016 he won the Gold medal with a violin and the Gold medal with a cello at the X° National Violin Making Competition A.N.L.A.I. in Milano. In October 2016 he was awarded a Gold medal for a viola and a Gold medal for a cello at the 1st ”Santa Cecilia” International Violin Making Competition in Rome.
Villa makes violins, violas and cellos, particularly favouring Cremonese
classical models: Stradivari, Guarneri “del Gesù” and Amati.
All instruments have a certificate of authenticity with colour photographs and accurate description of the instrument.
distinguish themselves for many reasons: quality of materials utilised, precision and
personality of the workmanship, varnish quality and color, and fine acoustics.
Basing his work upon the classical line of violin-making, he builds his instruments
applying his personality and taste in every small detail: the f-holes, the varnish, the
cutting of the scroll.
Baroque-specialised musicians have shown great interest in his period instruments: viola d'amore, viola da gamba, pochette, lira da braccio, baroque violin, baroque viola, baroque cello.
His main interest, however, which began to emerge during the formative years of his career, is the reproduction of Stradivari inlaid instruments, which he believes to be the quintessence of artistic and technical perfection.
From 1983, the
year in which he built his first inlaid violin, preserved in the Museum of the
International School of Violin Making in Cremona, and until the present day, he
has made copies of the Hellier, Ole Bull, Sunrise, Cipriani Potter, Rode,
Greffhule violins and of the Spanish and Axelrod violas.
A decorated quartet by Marcello Villa inspired by the Axelrod Stradivari Quartet is part of the Cremona Civic Violin Making Collection, a donation by Evelyn and Herbert Axelrod.
His interests range from violin making to music. In 1999 he founded the recording label MV Cremona, committed to disseminating and promoting unpublished Italian music, and serves as its artistic director. He has published several studies on Cremonese composers of the 1600s and 1700s and has collaborated with specialised magazines including "Musica", "Archi Magazine" and “Liuteria, Musica, Cultura”. In 2005 he published a monograph on Marino Capicchioni, great master luthier of the 1900s for Edizioni Novecento. In 2011 he published an essay in the catalogue of “L’estetica sublime” on the occasion of that extraordinary exhibition in Cremona of several decorated masterpieces by Antonio Stradivari.
In 2012, an image of his hand as he was inlaying the scroll of a violin was featured on the cover of “Mestieri d’Arte & Design”, published by the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte and the Swan Group.
In 2011 he was featured and co-authored the film “L’Eccellenza di Stradivari”, which documented the reconstruction of an inlaid violin as it would have looked if it had just been completed by Stradivari. The film was presented at the exhibition “L’estetica sublime” in Cremona in 2011. It was then shown at the “Stradivarius” exhibition at the Ashomolean Museum in Oxford in 2013. Today it is part of the multimedia displays at the Museo del Violino in Cremona in the "friends of Stradivari" hall.
In 2016 Marcello Villa was awarded the MAM prize (Masters of arts and crafts). That same year he was listed in the “golden book” of Italian “Masters” recognised as being “excellent” by the Fondazione Cologni in Milano.
Tel.-fax: (39)0372 35680 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
G. NICOLINI Liutai italiani di ieri e di oggi
2° vol. 1982
G. NICOLINI Liutai italiani di ieri e di oggi 2° vol. Rist. agg. 1991
VANNES Dizionario universale dei liutai 3° tomo
Catalogue of Violinmaking Triennal in Cremona 1982, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997.
Catalogues of Baveno Competitions
LIUTERIA CREMONESE CONTEMPORANEA Ed. Turris 1994
STRUMENTI E MUSICA "La pagina del liutaio" 1985
LIUTERIA Cremona 1983-1986
ARTE LIUTARIA Firenze 1986
CREMONA IN SEOUL 1993
STRINGS 1999 Resource Guide pag.122
ARTE ITALIANA NEL MONDO - ITALIAN ART IN THE WORLD Torino 1980-90; Centro Librario Italiano vol.12
Catalogue Mostra di Liuteria Contemporanea "OMAGGIO A BOTTESINI" Cremona 1989 Edizioni Turris
ARTIGIANI DEL SUONO Ed. Ricordi Milano 1989
Permanent Exhibition of modern Cremonese
Violin-making Palazzo Fodri Cremona
In the Violin-making School of Cremona Museum : Greffhule inlaid Stradivari copy
Violinmaking Triennal in Cremona 1991, 1997
Trade Mark Exhibition 2002 in U.S.A.
Cremona Exhibitions in U.S.A. 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
"THE SECRET OF CREMONA" Oslo 1988
directed by Istvan Korda (Norwegian Television)
MY STRAD COPY QUARTET
click for information and pictures
Copyright © 2010 Marcello and Vittorio Villa
All rights reserved