Elena Dal Cortivo
Elena Dal Cortivo, master luthier, musician and creator of roses for stringed instruments, enrolled in Milan’s Civica Scuola di Liuteria in 1980 and after graduating obtained the qualification of ‘Operator and Conservator of Stringed Instruments’.
Over the following years she attended seminars on antique instrument making given by Gerhard Söhne as part of the Courses of Early Music held at Pamparato in the province of Cuneo, and began to work as a luthier in Vicenza, constructing Renaissance lutes, Renaissance and baroque violas da gamba and mediaeval rebecs and mandores, while occasionally reproducing parchment roses for baroque cymbals and guitars based on originals and iconographic sources or from patterns by request.
At the same time she frequented the workshop of Fabrizio Reginato, a constructor of violas da gamba and other stringed instruments at Fonte Alto (Treviso). In parallel to her work as a luthier she has played the recorder and baroque trombone in the early music group La Ca’ Merlata in Milan and the flute in the Accademia del Diletto Musicale quintet of Renaissance flautists in Vicenza.
In 1991 she opened her own luthier’s workshop in Milan, where she still carries on her activity of construction and restoration of musical instruments and reproduction of parchment roses.
Thanks to her natural bent for precision in the handling of details, the work of reproducing rosettes gradually came to dominate that of instrument making, becoming her main activity since 1999 and the one for which Elena dal Cortivo has become well known and sought after, a point of reference for luthiers, collectors and music lovers.
The incredible and elaborate roses that can be admired in her extensive catalogue are genuine masterpieces in miniature whose execution requires particular taste and skill: a rare and highly poetic craft of extraordinary virtuosity that very few are still able to practice with such delicate mastery.