I arrived to Milan on 15 February, I was invited by my present distributor in Italy, BODE, to make several presentations about my family of guitar makers in some music conservatories from the North of Italy.
In all my visits and presentations I enjoyed the company and guide of Fabio Grossi and RominaCastagna, both delegates of BODE, and in Milan Erik Denti was also with us.
My first lecture in the Giuseppe Verdy Conservatory of Milan was organized by the professor Francesco Biraghi on Monday 16 February. The hall was crowded with teachers, professional guitarists, students and amateurs. They all knew quite well about the history of my family, so the meeting was quite pleasant and very inclusive, establishing moments of connection and complicity that gave a special warmth to the event. PieroBonaguri, the promotor of this journey of mine, played a brief concert with a guitar I had constructed in 1997, and we ended up in a meeting where the participants tried guitars that BODE brought for the purpose. Then we went to have dinner with a small group in a restaurant that was close to the conservatory.
The next day the lecture took place in Alessandria, in the Antonio Vivaldi conservatory, and I went with the professor FrédéricZigante. Most of the participants were students, though there were also teachers and amateurs and professional guitarists, as it had happened in Milan. Franco Scavino took several Ramírez guitars so that they could try them at the end of the meeting and one of Frédéric’s outstanding students, Pietro Locatto, played a concert that we all enjoyed quite a lot.
We went back to Milan, where I spent the night, to set out to Rovigo the next day; there, I made a presentation in the Francesco Venezze conservatory, this is a beautiful palace constructed by the architect Agostino Ghirotti da Costa in the year 1715. Professor Luciano Chillemi gathered us in a classroom together with his pupils and some other participants guitar enthusiasts. The truth is that as it was a quite small room, it was completely full, and there were some people that had to stand up during the whole presentation. I really enjoyed seeing the interest the history of my family arose in so many young people, and they ended up trying some guitars we were able to take.
From that place we travelled directly to Bologna, we arrived there just in time to attend to the end of a concert that was being celebrated in the Giovan Battista Martini conservatory, where the next morning i was giving my lecture organized by PieroBonaguri. The room was crowded to the point that some chairs had to be added to the attendants, most of them young students, and it was really enjoyable and stimulating to talk about the history of my family to such an attentive audience, moreover, they were overtly enjoying what they were listening.
Tomassone prepared a wide exhibition of Ramírez guitars that were tried after the speech by many attendants. Similarly, Piero allowed all those who wanted to try his thin neck guitar that we had made to his request and which is steadily gaining favour due to its comfort.
Although my distributor Eric Denti could only attend Milan’s presentation, he ensured that I was wonderfully treated all the time by Fabio and Romina, so it was not only a productive journey, but also a very pleasurable one for me. So the 20th, after a very intense visit, I came back to Madrid, I was very happy with the experiences I had these five days travelling along roads and conservatories around the North of Italy in such a good company.