The Maestro Sacconi
in the testimony of the violinmaker and restorer
Mario F. D'Alessandro

Nutley, July 18, 1985

I worked for the firm of Rembert Wurlitzer as an apprentice violin maker under the G. I. Bill in 1948. I was selected to work for Wurlitzer from many applicants. Shortly after I started to work as a violin maker, Simone Fernando Sacconi, the greatest violin maker, also came to work at Wurlitzer. Sacconi thus in turn became my teacher, taking me «under his wing» and teaching me all knowledge about violin making and restoration. I made my first violin under his supervision – a copy of a Strad. Sacconi also taught me how to make an exact copy of a Strad label bearing my name: Mario F. D'Alessandro.

My second violin also made under Sacconi's supervision was placed in the exhibition commemorating the seventieth birthday of Sacconi. At the time, the violin was not varnished. Sacconi wanted my instrument at this exhibition because he admired it so much. He gave me the necessary varnish to complete it in time for the exhibition.

Sacconi handled more Strad instruments than any other violin maker in the world. He was referred to as the «maestro» by all the famous violinists in the world of his time.

He was an excellent teacher – anxious to teach anyone who showed a genuine interest in the Italian ways and methods of violin making.

He was a man of many talents and interests. He was an expert in operas, explaining each one to us as we listened to them on the radio. 1le was an expert in photography, in picking wild mushrooms, and in deep sea fishing, as well as in violin making. Many times he would show us maps of the sea world explaining where to catch the best fish. We all went out together deep sea fishing with him on Long Island. I have a picture which was taken on the deep sea fishing boat. Those in the picture are, left to right: Dario D'Attili, Simone Fernando Sacconi, Vahakn Nigogosian, Charles Beare, Hans Nebel, René Morel, center Mario D'Alessandro.

In my opinion Sacconi was the greatest teacher of all time, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been his pupil.

Nutley, July 18, 1985

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 83 - Italian / English).