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XIV Guitar Convention

XIV Guitar Convention, Torino, Palazzo Carignano, September 28 1952

On September 28 1952 at 10 AM in Turin, Italy − in the hall  on  the ground floor of  Palazzo Carignano, in the Piazza of the same name −  the participants of  the XIV Guitar Convention, sponsored by the Unione Chitarristica Internazionale (UCI) or International Guitar Union,  gathered to discuss the following agenda:

1) Appointment of the Chairman and the Secretary of the Assembly;

2) Greetings from the «Carlo Reineri» Club Chairman;

3) Greetings from U.I.C. Chairman;

4) Appointment of the Judges Committee for the National Lutherie Competition,  consisting of a Chairman and four members chosen by the Assembly among those present, provided that they are not participants in the  same competition;

5) Reading of reports written by convention attendees.

6) Designation of the location and date of the XV Guitar Convention;

7) Miscellaneous.

Prof. Ferrari takes the podium inviting the Convention attendees to appoint the Chairman and the Secretary of the Assembly. Following a brief  exchange of ideas among the Participants, Ernesto Salio is unanimously elected as Chairman of  the «Carlo Reineri» Guitar Club and  Giocondo Passera  as its Secretary.

Ernesto Salio introduces Cesare Bianco Esq., Honorary Chairman of the «Carlo Reineri» Guitar Club, who in turn  proceeds to make  the following speech:


Ladies and Gentlemen:

As Honorary Chairman of the «Carlo Reineri» Guitar Club of Turin, in this room, in this building laden with history and glory  that can be traced back to our  Risorgimento movement,  I am happy to give  all of you my warmest welcome, also on behalf of all Club Members.

The tradition of hospitality of our city is well known.  I am not saying this to brag. Therefore, I am confident that, you will immediately feel comfortable and enjoy this day, a day that all of us will certainly  remember.

Many of you have travelled here from all parts of Italy, and even farther, unconcerned of the hardship and strenuousness of a long journey. This is a very comforting and meaningful sign, showing your dedication to the study of our instrument, the guitar.

However, today's Convention has a far greater  meaning.  Your dedication, your love for art and for the study of such a noble instrument ought to be, and has already become, a real mission. It has become a sublime task, from which you have to chase away every selfish thought in order to  allow your mission to spread the seeds of your experience and skills, even among the unenlightened.

I have mentioned the guitar – the instrument to which we  dedicate ourselves with  enthusiasm if young, and with a sense of nostalgia if up in years, and often with the purpose of finding, in its wonderful and hidden harmonies, comfort from the long-lasting and  bitter disappointments of life.

 I have said, and I repeat it here: the guitar is «the noblest instrument».  Today we can state with confidence that the guitar is so noble as to stand on a par, as well as to withstand a comparison with other instruments. Today, one no longer considers  guitar lovers disabled, or almost disabled individuals,  or mere strummers, and the instrument itself as unable to play a major role. 

Today, others will tell you that through a long and arduous journey, step by step, we have come to the establishment of Chairs and Advanced Courses at fully accredited educational institutions.  This has ensured and will ensure a proper role for the guitar,  the role that it deserves.  The guitar will grant its supporters the rightful recognition and high regard of equal among equals in the art of music.

 I would like to mention, among the most recent institutions, Siena’s Accademia Chigiana,   led in an unrivaled manner by the great Segovia (and of which here, in this very hall, in this  Convention,  I recognize  the first  fruits of its contribution).

I have spoken as an «old timer» who apologizes for inadvertently having  strayed away from his topic.   I came here to welcome you, and this is the least I can tell you.  At this point,  emotion is  taking  over and I would like to  apologize.

 I can only tell you  with all my heart that the members of this Club − a Club which has the honor to bear the name «Carlo Reineri»,  here present in spirit, unforgettable scholar and teacher − are all your  friends who shake your hands and welcome you with a  brotherly embrace under the common ideal of art. A common bond ties us.  Consider yourselves as members of a single family. This is how you should feel among us now and, I hope,  even long after the Congress is over.

For your having shown up here in such large numbers, please accept our heartfelt thanks. A thank you also to the Chairman and members of the Italian Guitar Union, who have  honored us with their presence. Before closing this event, again on behalf of the «Carlo Reineri» Guitar Club, I would like to give special thanks  to Prof. Franco Antonicelli and Commendatore Mesturino, who, both have greatly contributed to the successful organization of this Convention.  Now that I am done, I can only formulate to all gathered here, my wish that the Convention that is about to open may close with the greatest success.


Chairman Salio reads out the lists of members unable to attend the Convention: Ms. Padovani, Maestro Murtula, Maestro Orsolino; Prof. Terzi, Commendatore Andreini; Bèrben; Dr. Orlich.

Maestro Ferrari replies with heartfelt words of gratitude to all the attendees. The Chairman, after a reading by Maestro Ferrari of the most salient points of the Regulations for the Lutherie Competition, calls on the Assembly to elect the members of the Judges Panel. Following a discussion on election procedures,   in which a number of speakers participate, the Assembly selects judges from the names of several of the guitarists present.  The draw leads to the selection of:  Raffaele Suzzi from Bologna, Prof. Carlo Palladino from Genoa Luigi Borghi, Carlo Valenzano and Arveno Vatri from Turin.

Mr. Bianco Esq. asks for the floor and personally proposes replacing  two of the three members drawn from Turin. The Assembly rejects Mr. Bianco’s proposal, affirming its full confidence in the individuals selected.

The Assembly invites the Commission, as constituted, to become operational upon appointment of its Chairman. In regard to  the designation of the new location and date for the XV Guitar Convention, Maestro Ferrari takes the floor suggesting the city of Modena, on the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the U.C.I.  The Assembly unanimously approves the proposal.

Chairman Salio, moving to the execution of n. 5 and 7 of the Agenda, announces that he has received a mandate from Maestra Padovani, unable to attend the Convention, to submit for approval a scheme of a Statute for the establishment of an Italian Guitar Union. Chairman Salio sees to the distribution and reading of several copies of the proposal among the participants. Several participants intervene in this regard. Maestro Ferrari and others with him, who, while welcoming the initiative, point to the impossibility of reaching an agreement on this occasion, due to the required lengthy preparatory work and analysis of the layout of such Statute.  In agreement, also, Mr. Leoni, Mr. Luzi, and Prof. Palladino, the latter believing that Maestra Padovani  ought to be entrusted with this process.

Esq. Bianco provides some clarifications on the layout of the Statute and points out the absence of representatives from several Clubs and Guitar Associations, well entitled to have a saying. He then proposes to the Assembly the approval of an agenda.  He states, «The Assembly has taken note of Chairman Salio’s  recommendation on a statute for the establishment of an Italian Guitar Union or Italian Guitar  Association. Accordingly, the Assembly  mandates to the proposer of the statute, Maestra Padovani, to take the initiative of convening representatives of Guitar  Groups from various regions of Italy, reach an agreement on the Statute discussed today, and inform the International Guitar Union on the matter».

The Assembly unanimously approves. Chairman Salio describes the prizes of the Luthier Competition. There are four: First Prize, Gold Medal, Second Prize Vermeil Medal, Third Prize, Large Silver Medal, Fourth Prize, Medium-Sized Silver Medal.  All prizes come with a diploma signed by the members of the Commission.

 Prof. Palladino begins discussing the issue of education and of reaching, to the maximum possible extent, a common and effective guideline on the matter. 

He proposes  ​​frequent meetings between individuals who dedicate themselves to this effort;   meetings where each person would contribute his expertise and his experience and where attending guitar scholars would make themselves available for advice. 

The Assembly approves the initiative.

Attendees notice Prof. Aliario Diaz’s presence at the Convention. He is responsible for the evening concert performance in one of the halls of the Chiablese Palace. The attendees unanimously applaud him in  a warm display of affection. At this point, the Chairman realizes that the agenda has been fulfilled. The Assembly unanimously approves Prof. Palladino’s request, asking the Carlo Reineri Guitar Club, on behalf of the Assembly itself, to convey a warm greeting to distinguished Count Chigi Saracini and to Maestro Segovia. The Club  thanks  them for their great, effective, and constant contribution to the establishment of  Courses aimed at ensuring a serious, comprehensive, and thorough study of the instrument. The Assembly breaks up at 12. The Chairman and the Secretary underwrite the Assembly report.


The Guitar Academy


On the afternoon of last September 28, the attendees who took part in the XIV International Guitar Convention, gathered to work on establishing a Guitar Academy, while the Panel of Judges for the National Luthiers Competition  continued  the work entrusted to it by the Assembly.  The Assembly and the Guitar Academy gathered in one of the halls of the Carignano Palace, while the Commission met in a hall  within the  Chiablese Palace.

The Academy opened with a performance by Brini Pio and Bruno Mattioli from Turin. Pio played Handel’s Aria, Sor’s Waltz and Forteas’ Guajiras.  Mattioli performed Coste’s Studio, Sor’s Theme and Variations, Sor’s Waltz, Albeniz-Segovia’s Spanish Legend, and Sor’s Minuet.

A most lively performance followed, receiving the greatest  rounds of applause with:

Enrico Tagliavini from Parma, when he executed Mozart-Sor’s Variations.

Dante Vagnini from Turin, with his Malagueña by Fortea and Ricordo D'Alhambra by Tarrega.

Lorenza Frumento from Savona with her Mozzani’s Feste Lariane and   De Visée’s Minuetto.

The Academy Day  ended   later in the evening in an atmosphere of great camaraderie and in  the presence of Maestro Ernesto Salio from Turin. He entertained us with Malats’ Serenade and Tessarech’s Dream. Finally, Amleto Tempestini from Milan performed Sor’s Minuet, Terzi’s Pastorale and Sinopoli’s Serenade.


The Outcome of the National Lutherie Competition.


The announcement of the winners of the National Lutherie Competition and the award ceremony should have taken place at 6:30 PM.  However, the Commission had yet to complete its task, a task   that immediately proved to be very difficult and complex for the unusual number of competitors, who showed up at the last moment.  Therefore, the Commission reached the decision to postpone the award ceremony to the evening, at the end of the concert at the Chiablese Palace.  A decision  that in the end turned in total favor of the  competition winners.

The postponement brought the ceremony in the presence of a very numerous and  sophisticated audience attending the concert,  therefore gaining in importance.

The distinguished  audience proved itself most  generous in its applause rounds of the award-winning luthiers.

One must recognize in Italian Lutherie a seriousness of purpose, worthy of the utmost consideration. It has passed such test with all colors. The luthiers submitted twenty-three instruments for the approval of the Commission, many of which displaying high workmanship and value in terms of tone and sound characteristics. We are not aware of a greater number of competitors in previous contests.

The Selection Committee − consisting of Chairman Prof. Carlo Palladino, Raffaele Suzzi, Luigi Borghi, Carlo Valenzano, Arveno Vatri − after a long and meticulous  process selected  the following winners:

First Prize - Gold Medal to Pietro Gallinotti from Solero with n. 6432, motto: Tina. Second Prize –Vermeil Medal to Pietro Gallinotti with   no. 5819, Wally motto. Gallinoti kindly renounced to the second award by granting  it to the next in rank, Enrico Piretti from Bologna with n. 5943, motto: Daniela. Third Prize – Large Silver Medal to Antonio Monzino from Milan with n. 1909, motto: Classique. Fourth Prize –Medium-sized Silver Medal to Vincenzo De Bonis from Bisignano with n. 1952, motto: Trieste.


The Evening Concert According to Carlo Amerio’s Report.


In the hall of the Chiablese Palace reined an atmosphere of high expectation. The distinguished packed audience was eager and curious to hear Venezuelan guitarist Alirio Diaz, a student of Segovia at Siena’s Accademia Chigiana.

Diaz is practically unknown in Italy. He has never given a concert here. However, he has demonstrated, even to the most reluctant, that soon he will become a subject of discussion, and not only in Italy. This is because his art and his guitar convey a message that transcends  boundaries.



Born in 1923 in Carora, Venezuela, he studied music at the Conservatory of Caracas receiving the  First and Special Prize from Madrid’s  National Conservatory of Music. He attended Maestro Segovia’s graduate course at the Chigiana Academy, distinguishing himself for his remarkable skills. He has  performed a number of very successful concerts in Venezuela and Spain.


The program combined purely folk music with elements of the purest classicism. On the one hand, it included folk music such as the «Guasa» a Venezuelan dance by Perez Diaz, the «Danza Paraguaya» by Augustin Barrios, the «Two Catalan Songs» by M. Llobet, and the «Venezuelan Waltz» by Antonio Lauro. On the other, it presented classics such as Simone Molinaro’s XIV century «Saltarello», a Haydn’s «Minuet» and finally Bach’s  wonderful «Fugue».

Even from just the complexity and comprehensiveness of the program itself, one could easily recognize Alirio Diaz’s gravity,  artistic, and musical depth.  However, this is not all, because he combines technical and stylistic perfection to the great and communicative soul of a true artist. 

Diaz has been able to create a warm vein of musicality between himself and the audience, where everything dissolves in a continual sound flow. Bach’s «Fugue» was performed with uncanny skill and  justly  greeted with endless rounds of  applause.

 In conclusion, one realizes that Alirio Diaz is a great artist of the most varied and intimate sensibility. We wish him a surely a brilliant ascent, and we hope to hear soon back from him.


A kind reminder, after the concert:

Prof. Diaz has accepted the invitation from the Chairmanship to perform a piece on the guitar that was awarded first prize in the National Lutherie Competition.  It is easy to imagine Mr. Gallinotti’s satisfaction and of all those present.  With this high note of consensus and enthusiasm, the Guitar Day of the XIV International Convention came to an end.



La XIV Giornata Chitarristica, in «L’Arte Chitarristica», VI, n. 34-35, 1952, pp. 1-4.

Program                                                         Photos