Jérôme Casanova, France
In 1994 I received my CAP (training certificate) in guitar-making from ITEMM (European Technological University for Music) where I studied for two years under Marc Lucas, Jean-Pierre Malherbe and Joël Laplanne. Their professionalism and their very different conception of guitar-making played an important part in my training.

I went then to Bastia (Corsica) to improve my skills with Christian Magdeleine. I faced with him the reality of the daily management of a luthier workshop and assisted him in the making of his classical concert guitars. I also learned how to make ceteras (traditional Corsican cistres).

In 1996, Dominique David put me in charge of the workshop of Melody Maker, a music shop in Clermont-Ferrand specializing in guitars. I worked there for five years repairing, adjusting and maintaining many classical guitars, folk guitars (Guild, Martin...) and American electric guitars (Fender, Gibson, etc.)

I decided then to specialize in restoring and preserving. I met Daniel and Françoise Sinier de Ridder, luthiers and experts in ancient instruments. I was their assistant for two years while they taught me restoration and preservation techniques. I decided to open my own workshop in Clermont Ferrand in 2003.

In 2004 I was awarded a SEMA prize for my work restoring a 1790 Gio Battista Fabricatore guitar. Later that same year I was awarded the national prize at the Concours Talents de l'Artisanat et du Commerce.

In 2006 I joined the Sainte Cécile Society (a group of experts working on music instruments sold during auctions). I have been acting as an expert for several auction houses since then.

Each year I build three or four guitars (classical, contemporary, or "Fac-similes" of ancient models). I dedicate the rest of my time to restoration and conservation work on plucked string instruments. I have worked on instruments made by master makers such as Lambert, Renault and Chatelain, Lacote, Grobert, Martin, Salomon, Roudhloff, Friederich, Selmer, Maccaferri, Fabricatore, Vinnaccia, Pages, Torres, Arias, Santos Hernandez, Manuel and Jose Ramirez, Fleta, and others.

Since October 2009, I have been working in my workshop with my colleague Nora Gebhardt.
Jérôme Casanova