Joaquin Alonso (Almería, active c.1876)
Joaquin Alonso was a guitar maker active in Almería towards the end of the nineteenth century. He briefly apprenticed with Antonio de Torres sometime between 1870 and 1873. His label proclaims that he is the disciple of Torres. He had his shop on the Calle de la Alcazaba.
Juan Castillo (Almería, active c 1900).
Juan Castillo was a guitar maker in Almería active at the turn of the century. He had his shop at Calle Granada, no. 12.
José Pedro Damián Cruz Giménez (Almería, b. 1912-d.1989).
Jose Pedro Damián Cruz Giménez was born in Almería. He learned his craft from Juan Iglesias González, but seems to have been only a part-time builder, and supplemented his income doing other wood crafts.
Andrés García(Almería, b. 1807, active c. 1840-1850s).
Andrés García was born in Almería in 1807. He apparently was a carpenter who also built guitars.
Juan Miguel Gonzalez Abad (Almeria b. 1906 d. 1989)
ABAD GONZALEZ, Miguel (Almería, 1906 - Almería 1989). was the son of stonemasons from Pechina, at age ten he apprenticed as a cabinet maker in the Silvia workshop located on the plaza of Santa Rita. Drawn to guitar construction, even while nworking as an apprentice, he regularly visit the workshop of the Hermanos Moya and indirectly, began learning about guitar guitar construction. He built his first guitar at the age of 17. In 1922, due to an accident that left one leg was crippled, he was forced into a trade that didn't require him to be on his feet, and opted to become a guitar maker, and builder of related instruments. Given the precariousness of the economy at the time, he made his first guitars with scrap woods, antique furniture, packing crates, etc. As his economic situation improved, he began to use cypress, rosewood, mahogany, walnut and sycamore, among other hardwoods. Between 1946 and 1950, documents show that he bought some materials from the Telesforo Julve workshop in Valencia Miguel Gonzalez Abad's workshop was located in the Bairro Alto. Later on he opened a music store with his two sons, Juan Miguel and Diego González, called Casa Gonzalez on Murcia street, where they sold guitars, laudes, bandurias, mandolins etc. As a builder, Miguel Cojo, popular nickname given him after his accident, specialized in classical and flamenco guitars, as well as mandolins. In 1973 he was awarded a silver medal and a certificate as National Master Craftsman. His guitars found an international following, and found a wide market outside of Spain, particularly in Mexico, England and France. He was active until the 1980s, being rated as the link in the Almeria making guitars between Hermanos Moya and Gerundino Moya Fernández. His son, Juan Miguel Gonzalez he learned to make guitars with his father and is considered one guitar makers in Spain today.
Antonio Jiménez de Soto (Almería, active c. 1850s)
Antonio Jiménez de Soto was a luthier active in Almería around the middle of the nineteenth century.
José López Beltran (Almería, b. c. 1847, active c. 1900-1910)
José López Beltrán was born in the parish of San Sebastian, Almeria in 1846 and died sometime after 1906. He seems to have assisted Antonio de Torres (1817-1892) during the last few years of his life. This guitar's label reads "José López Beltrán/Unico Discipulo/de/Don Antonio Torres/Teatro Apolo/Almeria Anno 18" (penned in)
Juan Moya Castillo (Almería, b. c.1875- d. 1937).
Juan Moya Castillo was born in Almería around 1875, and was the son of Miguel Moya Redondo, and learned his craft from his father. Antonio Torres had a very close relationship with the Moya family, and with Miguel Moya Redondo in particular, authorizing him to call himself a "disciple of Antonio de Torres" on his labels. Juan Moya would have grown up with Don Antonio de Torres, and no doubt benefited from his instruction as well. His own guitar are strongly influenced by those of Torres. Juan earned his living making cabinets and guitars. He married Francisca San Juan Pardo, and they had six children. In 1910 they are recorded as living on the Calle Caravaca in Almeria. They had a son, Sebastian, who became a cabinet maker, but does not appear to have made guitars. Juan had a workshop at La Palma 33, and advertised on his labels that he made guitarras, bandurias, and guitarros (a folk instrument descending from the baroque guitar). Juan Moya Castillo died around 1937.
Andrés Moya Martinez (Almería, b. 1861 active c. 1880-1930)
Andrés Moya was born in Almería in 1861. He was the son of Melchor Moya Redondo. Like his brother Juan, he was trained by his father and became a respected guitar maker. The Moya Hermanos had their shop at Granada 25, and continued making classical and flamenco guitars, bandurrias, and laúdes till about 1930.
Juan Moya Martinez (Almería, b. 1859 active c. 1880-1930)
Juan Moya Martinez was born in Almería in 1859. The son of the luthier Melchor Moya Redondo, a friend of Antonio de Torres. Juan was trained by his father, and was active in Almería from 1880 to the 1930s. In 1895, his guitars won a first prize medal in a regional exhibition. The Moya Hermanos had their shop at Granada 25, and continued making flamenco and classical guitars, bandurrias, and laúdes till about 1930.
Melchor Moya Redondo (Almería, b. 1827- d. 1891)
Melchor Moya Redondo was born in Almería in 1827. Melchor was also the brother of Miguel Moya. In 1845, Melchor opened a workshop in Almería. Like many guitar makers, he seems to have started his working life as a carpenter. He had two sons, Andrés and Juan, who he trained. He died in 1891. He was a friend of Antonio de Torres.
Miguel Moya Redondo (Almería, b. c. 1846- d. c. 1915)
Miguel Moya Redondo was born in Almería in 1827. Miguel was also the younger brother of Melchor Moya. In all likelihood, he learned his craft from his elder brother. He seems to have died around 1915. He was also a friend of Torres, and seems to have been chosen by the family to finish a number of guitars left partially complete when he died.
Emilio Peralto (Almería, active c. 1930).
Emilio Peralto was a regionally renowned guitar maker in Almería circa 1930. In addition to guitars, he built bandurrias, laúdes, and other plucked instruments.
Joaquín Ruíz (Almería b. 1804 active 1840s)
Joaquín Ruíz was born in Almería in 1804. Like many guitar makers, he also worked as a carpenter. He is remembered as talented guitar maker active in Almería in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Juan Ruíz, (Almeria, active c. 1815).
Juan Ruíz was a guitar maker in Almería active c. 1815. It seems likely that he may be the father of Joaquín.
Antonio De Torres Jurado (Almería 1817-1892)
Antonio De Torres Jurado (1817-1892) is as revered among guitarists as Stradivarius is revered among violinists. His work established the shape, design, and construction of the modern guitar. Antonio de Torres was born in San Sebantian de Almería, June 18, 1817. He was the son of Juan Torres, a local tax collector, and Maria Jurado. As was common, when he was 12 he started an apprenticeship as carpenter. In 1833, a dynastic war broke out, and soon after Torres was conscripted into the army. Through his father's machinations, young Antonio was dismissed as medically unfit for service. As only single men and widower's without children were draftable, his family pushed Torres into a hastily arranged marriage to the 13 year old daughter of a shopkeeper. And, in 1835 Antonio wed Juana María López. Children soon followed: a daughter in 1836; and another in 1839, a third in 1842 who died a few months later. His second daughter also died. And, in 1845 his wife died at the age of 23 of tuberculosis. These were difficult years for Torres, he was often in debt, and looking for more lucrative forms of employment.
Some time around 1842, Torres appears to have gone to work for José Pernas in Granada, rapidly learning to build guitars. He soon returned to Sevilla, and for a time shared with Manuel Guitierrez Martinez and Maria Gomez at calle Cerrageria 36 (which became Cerrageria 7 when the street was renumbered in 1869). He subsequently moved to Cerrageria 32, which with the renumbering became Cerrageria 25). Although he made some guitars during the 1840s, it was not until the 1850s on the advice of the renowned guitarist and composer Julían Arcas, that Torres made it his profession, and he began building in earnest. Julían Arcas offered Torres advice on building, and their turned collaboration Torres into an inveterate investigator of the guitar construction. Torres reasoned that the soundboard was key. To increase its volume, he made his guitars not only larger, but fitted them with thinner, hence lighter soundboards that were arched in both directions, made possible by a system of fan-bracing for strength. To prove that it was the top, and not the back and sides of the guitar that gave the instrument its sound, in 1862 he built a guitar with back and sides of papier-mâché. (This guitar resides in the Museu de la Musica in Barcelona, unfortunately it is no longer playable). Another of his experiments --perhaps a better description would be a display of his craftsmanship-- was a guitar made like a Chinese puzzle that could assembled without glue, and disassembled would fit in a shoe box.
Torres was a secretive man, and so had no disciples, but in a letter to his friend Juan Martinez Sirvent explained: "my secret is one you have witnessed many times, and one that I can't leave to posterity, because it must with my body go to the grave, for it consists of the tactile senses in my finger pads, in my thumb and index finger that tell the intelligent builder if the top is or is not well made, and how it should be treated to obtain the best tone from the instrument."
In 1868, Torres married again, wedding Josefa Martín Rosada. Shortly after, Torres met Tarrega for the first time. Tarrega then a kid of seventeen had come to Sevilla from Barcelona to buy a Torres from the maker of Julían Arcas' instrument. Torres offered him a modest guitar he had in stock, but on hearing him play, offered him a guitar he had made for himself a few years before. About 1870, Don Antonio then in his 50s closed his shop in Sevilla, and moved back to Almería where he and his wife opened up a china and crystal shop on the calle Real. About five years latter, Don Antonio began his "second epoch" as he refers to it on the labels of his guitars, building part-time when not busy in the china shop. After the death of his wife, Josefa, in 1883, Torres began to devote increasing amounts of time to building making some 12 guitars a year until his death.
Torres guitars are divided into two epochs. The first, belonging to Sevilla from 1852-1870; the second, being the years 1871-1893 in Almería. The guitars Torres made so superior to those of his contemporaries that their example changed the way guitars were built, first in Spain, and then in the rest of the world. Although they are not particularly loud by modern standards, they have a clear, balanced, firm and rounded tone, that projects very well. His guitars were not only widely imitated and copied, but as he never signed his guitars, and only numbered those from his second epoch, over the years many fakes Torres have been made, some made by well-know and expert makers.