ANTONIO DATTIS is a cabinet-maker, restorer and luthier. His training course began, when he was a child, learning the basics of woodworking first as a carpenter’s shopkeeper, then as an apprentice to a master cabinetmaker and furniture restorer, starting to build his first musical instruments in empirical way, sometimes without ever having seen a true one. Later he learned the constructive technique of stringed musical instruments and completed his training at the workshop of the luthier Alfredo Baroni.
His formidable cabinetmaking skills allowed him to reconstruct particularly elaborate ancient instruments, both faithful copies of historical instruments, and some of his creation.
Its production is mainly dedicated to medieval, Renaissance and baroque instruments with plucked strings (lutes, arciliuti, tambours, guitars and mandolins, also using materials such as mammoth ivory), but also includes string instruments (violins, violas, double basses and bass violes).
Particularly unusual and difficult to construct instruments are his true passion: in 2007 he made one of the three copies of octobasses in the world for the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix, Arizona, where he is currently exposed and regularly played (In June 2011 the “Remote Control Production” studios used the instrument for recording a soundtrack, for the movie “The Hunger Games”).
In 2010 he exhibited some of his lutes in the exhibition “Liuti del Mediterraneo by Dinko Fabris & Davide Rebuffa”, at the “Fiera del Levante” in Bari.
In 2013 he won the 1st prize of the European Award for “Lifelong Passions 2013”, awarded to those who in the European Union have shown a particular dedication and commitment in the development of a passion.
In 2014, based on the only document received, published in the “Musick’s Monument” by Thomas Mace (1674), he built the first copy ever made from the seventeenth century to today of the “Dyphone” or “two-necked lute with 50 strings”, which is officially presented in London at the “Lute Society”.
He gave lectures on the research and implementation of the Dyphone at the “Scola Cantorum” in Basel and at the “Civica Scuola di Liuteria” in Milan.
Also in 2014 he built the first copy of the 1574 “Cetera di Girolamo Virchi” kept in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
In 2016 he built, for the Castle of “Carlo Gesualdo Di Venosa”, the first copy of the 1924 ”Chitarra Magno Longo” conserved at the Museum of Musical Instruments of the “Castello Sforzesco” in Milan; the first copy of the “Prototype of Arciliuto” invented by Alessandro Piccinini, preserved in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
His copy of the Magno Longo guitar has been exhibited next to the original one in the Sforzesco Castle Museum.
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