Home > Tradizione > Craftsmanship > Craftsmanship

Crema world capital of the organ

This ancient and precious art goes back to 1800 when two prestigious organ factories were founded in Crema, run by two dedicated organ artists: Pacifico Inzoli (1843-1910) and Giovanni Tamburini (1857-1942). Gifted with an uncommon business mentality, the two “entrepreneurs” from Crema succeeded in making the city capital of the art of organ making in the space of only a few years.  In 1867 Pacifico Inzoli opened the first Italian factory for the manufacture of all the parts of the organs in Crema and the prestigious instruments were exported all over the world.  The number of organs produced is impressive, getting close to 2000 pieces, some of which are located in prestigious and famous places (in Italy and abroad).  The art continues today thanks to the inherited workshops of this important tradition.  At Crema the art of organ making represents a historical fact, part of which still exists today, that of the production of organ pipes.  In the city and its surroundings magnificent organs can be admired in churches with perfect acoustics which exalts the quality of the sound.  These 'sacred auditoriums' are numerous, starting with the Romanesque church of San Martino at Palazzo Pignano, San Carlo, Ombriano, San Bartolomeo, S.S. Trinità.  Over the centuries, the organ producers in Crema have been able to develop a unique competency, so much so that a course has been and continues to be present in the city: 'Technical collaborator, restorer and constructor of cultural heritage – pipe organs'.  The course, the only one of its kind in Italy, is run in collaboration with prominent professionals from the world of organ making from all over Europe, acting as teachers.  The most important organ makers make their experience and expertise available to the pupils and create, over the three year course, expert and competent operators who have immediate work perspectives.  The chain of the art of organ making will be completed in 2015 with the inauguration of a Museum and with the first organ competition sponsored by the City of Crema.


Crema and the art of sound

Liuteria is the art of the production and restoration of string instruments (such as violins, violoncellos, violas, basses, etc).  It is an art and a craft technique that from the its classic period (XVII, XVIII century) has arrived up until today almost without any major changes.  During the Renaissance, in Italy there was a lot of ferment in this activity.  In the first half of the sixteenth century, Brescia was famous for its numerous workshops, followed by Cremona in the second half with Andrea Amati and his sons, home also between the end of the seventeenth and the eighteenth century of the workshops of Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarnieri del Gesù, probably the most important names in the history of this art.  Halfway through the eighteenth century a slow and unrelenting decline started in this art at Cremona.  The last great representative of the 'classic' vein was Storioni.  Thus a 'dark' period started continuing until halfway through the twentieth century.  Over this long time no noteworthy workshop appeared on the scene in Cremona.  In the meantime other happenings occurred and in this way, also the city of Crema played its small but very significant part, even if it cannot be defined as a real movement as in Cremona.  The art of string instrument making in Crema developed in two distinctive historical moments and with two precise stylistic influences.  The first, at the beginning of the twentieth century, going hand in hand with the Milan movement.  The second, from the seventies of the twentieth century, is closely linked to the reborn tradition of Cremona by virtue of the presence of the increasingly important International Diadatic Institution in the city of Cremona.  Crema can today claim a small but consolidated tradition thanks to the craftsmen of whom I have modestly spoken.  Their instruments are sought after by musicians and dealers in Italy and all over the world.