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Violin Festival Gasparo da Saló

The international string festival "Gasparo da Salò" is held every year in Salò. It includes a series of evening concerts given by famous European orchestras and performed by well-known master violinists. In addition, there are various exhibitions and other events on the subject of violin making and music. This year the "Festival Violinistico Gasparo da Salò" takes place on 22nd July, 29th July, 5th August and on 12th August 2023!

The festival is named after Gasparo Bertolotti, the famous violin maker and double bass player, who was born on 20 May 1540 in Salò and was also known as Gasparo da Salò. His entire family was in some way artisanal, and artistically or musically interested. The grandfather, for example, owned sheep and produced sheep's ear strings, made from sheep’s intestine. To open up new possibilities for his family, he decided to move from the village of Polpenazze to Salò.

Gasparo was the son and grandson of two first-class musicians and composers, Francesco and Agostino. He had the best training to be a quality artist and violin maker so that he could play in the orchestra of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice and from 1540 at European aristocratic courtyards.

After the death of his father in 1562 Gasparo moved to Brescia, where he married Isabetta Cassetti, daughter of a potter and glazier. Here he also opened a workshop for violin bows, which became the most prestigious in Europe in the second half of the 16th century. He built violins and violas in different sizes and loved experimenting with them. Among his best instruments are violas and double basses, valued among virtuosos from all over the world for their extraordinary rich and full sound.

Updated: 23/05/2023

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