The Granada luthier René Baarslag was born in Heerlen, Holland in 1948. After finishing his B.A., he explored various careers: art history, chemistry, architecture, mechanical engineering, and even opera. In 1977, having played classical guitar from the time he was 15 years old, René came to Granada to study flamenco, and was drawn into the world of guitar making. He apprenticed with Antonio Marin Montero, but also spent some time in Normandy with Robert Bouchet. Like other Spanish luthiers of the Granada school, René builds classical guitars and flamenco guitars entirely by hand using traditional methods and designs.
Currently, he lives in Lanjaron, Granada, with his wife, Ana Espinosa Rodriguez, who has also become a guitar maker, and sells her handmade concert guitars under her own label. Baarslag's instruments are patterned after those of Santos Hernandez (1873-1942), one of this century's greatest guitar makers. Nonetheless, he is willing to make whatever modifications are necessary to construction to improve the instrument as long as they are consistent with the structure and character of the traditional Spanish classical or flamenco guitar.