I met Simone Fernando Sacconi when I was a patient in a United States Army Hospital on Staten Island, New York because of being confined to a wheelchair as a result of wounds received in Germany on April 15, 1945.
In August of the same year Maestro Sacconi came to evaluate a violin I made at the age of fourteen and agreed to teach and tutor me to become a professional violin maker.
From that first meeting, his unselfishness and gentleness was shown by his giving of his valuable time to come to Halloran General Hospital one day a week to impart his knowledge and experience to me. If I was confined to bed as a result of surgery he would bring a fine Stradivarius or del Gesù to explain the many fine characteristics of these fine masterpieces. He was truly a considerate and gentle man.
I felt privileged to have studied with him from 1945 till the shocking news came over the telephone from Tom Bertucca, who called from Rembert Wurlitzer of the Maestro's quietly passing in his sleep, two weeks after having visited with him and his wonderful wife, Teresita, in their Long Island home.
He was not only a genius in his field but a wonderful, warm human being who gave himself to his art and to his students.
His teaching continues to influence me and many of his students in the high calibre instruments that we produce.
Many times when at the bench I have a particularly difficult repair, I feel his presence looking over my shoulder and the solution to this repair comes to me. As any other fine teacher, I am sure his methods will continue for generations of violin makers to come, as I now have my son Michael apprenticing with me for the past year.
I am sure at this time, if there is a violin maker's heaven, he sits at Antonio Stradivarius's right hand asking Joseph Guarneri del Gesù, “Why were you such a careless workman?”
Buffalo, May 1, 1984
Taken from the book: «From Violinmaking to Music: The Life and Works of Simone Fernando Sacconi», presented on December 17, 1985 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (Cremona, ACLAP, first edition 1985, second edition 1986, page 66 - Italian / English).
© 2024 - In memory of Francesco Bissolotti in the 5th anniversary of his death