The Making of a Violin

Remo del Tredici began making violins in his 70s. Inspired by his neighbor, a volunteer for AmVets, and the memory of his brother who was killed during WWII, he began giving away his violins to vets.

LISTEN ABOVE to full radio story featuring Remo del Tredici, Bill Roberts, Robert Martin, & and Earl Annecston heard on The California Report, KQED
Produced by The Kitchen Sisters & Lisa Morehouse with Nathan Dalton

“See my name in there? It says Remo Del Tredici, San Francisco, 2009.” In a workshop, set behind a modest stucco house in San Francisco’s Sunset district, 92-year-old Del Tredici points at his signature, written on the inside of a violin. “See those necks hanging up there? Out of a block of wood that’s what I carve, no nails, no screws.”

Remo picks a violin up off his workbench. “This is curly maple,” he says tapping on the belly. “I can make one in a week if I work eight to ten hours a day. Then the varnishing will take another week.”

Bill Roberts used to live down the street from Del Tredici. “I saw Remo loading up someone’s trunk with a bunch of violins,” Bill says, “and I wondered, what’s this guy doing? Where did all those violins come from?” The two men became friends and Bill soon found out. Over the last fifteen or so Remo has been making violins — more than 100 of them. And giving them away. Read More…