Renzo Bechini, Italian Violin Maker

From Tuscany, Renzo Bechini led a long life and wrote his own biography at age 80.  He built his first bow at the age of sixty.  He was born in 1911 and died in 1995.  He was self taught until 1955 when he trained with a maker from Milan.  

He wrote in his autobiograph:  
"If you exclude prodigious and individual moments that destiny can give us , to love our own job (which unfortunately is the privilege of a few) is the best real approximation to the happiness on earth, but this is a truth that many do not know."

Renzo held many jobs in his life:  he was a blacksmith at his father's shop when he was a child, dental technician, musician (he was graduated in viola), mechanic, jewelery dealer, jazz bassist, and of course , at first a luthier and then a bowmaker.  The passion for bows and instruments was born, as in many cases at the time, by necessity. Wishing to study the violin professionally, and not coming from a wealthy family who could afford such an important expense, he decided to build one for himself.  The first attempts, obviously, gave mixed results, but he did not loose heart, and throughout years and experience, things improved a lot.
In 1952, he attend as a hobbyist, the national competition of contemporary violin making at the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, hoping, at least, to display his works. To his surprise, not only the instrument was chosen by the commission, but he also won the second prize. 

In 1971, the year of his retirement (because obviously he was a luthier in his spare time left him by his job) he won the biennial in Cremona with a cello, after which he decided to devote himself entirely to bows.

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