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Ana Vidovic playing on a Bellucci guitar

The guitar Divas

Gary: A great friend and pupil

Bellucci Da Vinci series

Renato with Segovia
Top Mounted
The top is signed and finally glued to the "Special Cutaway" frame

The Bellucci signed series, carries my signature, the 
date and the acronym D.O.G (Deo Omnis Gloria, To God all the glory)
I receive approximately 30 mails every day from my nearly 2,000 online guitar students scattered throughout the planet. I will start posing some of the best questions they pose and my answers to shed some light on classical guitar playing and technique in general... we can all benefit from another player's questions

Question by James: 

I am starting to work on Retrato Brasiliero this weekend ( I do have some questions before I start: In reviewing the sheet music I noticed that in the first measure the RH notation you play the slur with "a" then play the b with "a" again. Why not "m"? There is also a similar RH fingering in measure 6. Why not "a,m,a"? I realize that I can finger it how I want but I am curious about the reasoning in doing this way. 
Thank you,

My answer:

Hi James 

The guitar player must achieve 2 things: 

1) Keep the sound of each voice in the music even. The best way to achieve it is by using the same right hand finger whenever the scenario in question permits... this scenario is true most of the time

2)The player must always know which right hand finger is plucking which string. Due to the way most players practice (looking almost exclusively at the left hand), the right hand fingering is often neglected. 
For instance, if you close your eyes and think of a piece you play, you will be able to envision your left hand moves but will most likely not know what is happening with the right hand. 

The right hand is where 90% of playing mistakes generate. Too many players pay too little attention to the right hand fingering. If we did the exact opposite, we would be more proficient players with very little or no mistakes... 

I have received the following complaint by many students in the nearly 32 years that I have been teaching classical guitar: "I have practiced the piece many times, but it seldom comes out flawless.... most times times it does not... I feel like my playing is unreliable...."

The guitar is about synchronizing the 2 hands and the right hand fingers ought to lead the synchronization process. If you observe the playing of a great number of players, you will notice that what they do is the exact opposite.

I will use a piece performed by one of all times greatest musicians, Kazuhito Yamashita to illustrate what I have just explained above.  The last time I Attended a Masterclass by Andres Segovia was in 1986 at the USC Campus... during one of the masterclasses, someone from the audience asked the following question to the Spanish Master: -How can I achieve that particular sound you produce Maestro?  Segovia answered: 
"Listen to my recordings very carefully".  Today, we can change that phrase for a much more fulfilling one: Look at my video !
The problem is that many people are, practically speaking, blind and often miss what is happening right in front of their eyes. 
Watch the following video by Master Kazuhito Yamashita performing an amazing transcription of Bach Prelude BWV 1012  for unaccompanied Cello and follow my minute by minute technique guide:

-As early as 20 seconds into the playing, Yamashita uses the same right hand finger to carry the melody (index finger)

-36": the 2 counter pointing notes are also played with the same finger to keep the sound even

-1':21" NOTE: *Yamashita moves a lot but many of those moves are intentional and are meant to keep the instrument away from the body so as to allow for more power to be produced due to the lack of dampening resulting from direct contact of the instrument with the body (see image)

The complete section starting at 1':24", the upper bout does not make contact with Yamashita's chest (the resulting sound is a bell-like sound)

-1':47" you get a great close up of the single finger repetition (i finger)

-1':56" more single finger sequences
You'll see more and more of this and then, at 2':36" Yamashita uses 2 right hand fingers fingers to bring out a single notes with more power... he does this several times... at times he uses i with m and other times m with a.

-At 3':26" he starts alternating finger simply to get "oiled up" for the fast section starting at 3:'47"

-Starting at 4':00" his right hand performs 4 different scale techniques simultaneously: alternate fingers, single finger on the same string, single finger across strings, hammer ons and pull offs. Every right hand finger knows exactly what it's doing or the result would be total disaster... Display of talent and HARD WORK ! (Nippon spirit)

-At 4':24: Yamashita tunes the 6th string with the ease of one who's playing Romance...

Kazuhito Yamashita is without a doubt one of the greatest guitar players and musicians of all times. Born in 1961 he belongs to a generation that saw when Neil Armstrong set foot of the moon in 1969... he already was an accomplished player when he saw the televised Apollo events. This generation of players carried the belief that anything is possible and when the '80s came along they were ready to show it. Kazuhito went on to win every guitar competition in the world and in the mid 80s achieved his very personal "lunar landing"... he transcribed Mussorgsky's Pictures at an exhibition for classical guitar and premiered the work in Toronto.  Below is an excerpt from that landmark performance... This performance changed the guitar scene FOREVER ! The video quality is poor but what you see and hear is unbelievable... he was only 24 years old... hear and look carefully because this is perhaps the only time you will see the guitar reach such AMAZING heights... 

Pianist Barry Douglas had just won the Tchaikovsky piano competition playing the same piece and was the first Briton to win the competition ever. Therefore "Pictures at an exhibition" was THE PIECE of the time... what nobody could believe was that such a minute instrument as the guitar could make it shine...and shine it did.... Yamashita invented innumerable techniques in order to play the piece being one of the most striking a tremolo played using the little finger ONLY (ch) which is a finger that is not normally used in guitar playing...he needed the other fingers to carry on simultaneous chords... I will examine the complete work in the future... Finally, I'll inviteyou to enjoy another amazing performance by Kazuhito that same evening in Toronto.... playing La Boda de Luis Alonso 

Renato Bellucci

After almost 8 hours of patient and extremely precise luthery work, the Special cutaway (Indented style) is finished....

-Thursday, October 6, 2011

This is a "Special Cutaway", Brazilian Rosewood Bellucci concert guitar fresh out of the mold (Oct. 6, 2011). Once the sides are bonded, the guitar top and back will be glued... I'll post this beauty as soon as she's finished...
-Wednesday October 5, 2011
I am always amazed at how God intervenes and manages to make each day special, complete and unique in every aspect. Even when we are under the false impression that the days repeat themselves monotonously, the truth is that each day is full of new sensations, feelings and dispositions.  If we take the time to allow this truth to sink in and, hopefully, try to discover God's treats for us at every passing hour, our lives would definitely improve exponentially. This preface is to describe what happened today... yes, today, one of those many "todays" we are blessed with regularly.  On my way back from Mass, I "discover" that Gaby, the daughter of one of my high school classmates and life long friend Sarah, is a passionate cook. Add to this that Gaby has a special place in her heart for the guitar ! I do my homework to get a hold of  her cell phone number and send her a message saying that I'd be honored to try out one of her dishes... To my surprise, Gaby replies to my message immediately saying that she'd be equally honored and that within a few hours she would personally bring "something" she would cook for me to my home.... 

At approximately 8:30 PM, Gaby arrives at my doorstep in the company of her boyfriend Juan Carlos and a young married couple Chiara and Ado and their 1 year old baby. They were carrying these amazing dishes that Gaby had prepared for me and my family:

Gaby's Ensalada de hongos
Gaby's Ensalada de hongos
Gaby's Papas al horno
Gaby's Papas al horno
Gaby's Lomo al Roquefort
Gaby's Lomo al Roquefort
Gaby's Mozzarella and dried tomatoes
Gaby's Mozzarella and dried tomatoes
Renato with Gaby
Every single dish deserved an A++. 
I mean you could tell that Gaby's hands made a labor of love and the choice of every spice was perfect. Her talent for cuisine is undeniable and all I can hope for is to be blessed with more of these exquisite dishes. 

Needless to say, I was speechless.  I immediately had to think of something to pay back a little bit of Gaby's amazing outpour of generosity and decided to show her my concert guitars and my Barrios-Mangoré' guitar one of only 3 surviving and even played Stanley Myers´ "Cavatina" on her. 

For Belén my wife and our children, Juan Carlos, Ado, Chiara and their little boy attending this "genuinely special event" was also a tremendously rewarding experience. We knew that all our bonds of love and affection were being marked deeply. Everything that happened on the evening of October the 5th "somewhere in Asunción-Paraguay" was being watched and blessed from Heaven. 

-July-September 2011

21 years ago yesterday, my wife Belén and I were married in Saint Francis Church in downtown Asunción. We have been given the gift of 7 beautiful children. Yesterday, It was also the day we buried our 11 years old son Alessandro.

Belén and I always knew we had a Christian mission to fulfill which was to bring our children to this world to be happy, educate them in the Catholic Faith and make sure that they received the necessary "tools" in order to reach their final destination: Heaven. 

In order to achieve such a Mission, Belén, our 7 children and I had to cement "our fortress of love" on the rock of Faith and keep our eyes on the Cross. 

Alessandro received the last rites and gave us, 15 days of immense Grace, Peace and Prayers so as to be ready to accompany him to rest in The Virgin Mary warm embrace. 

Our indescribable pain is accompanied by an even more indescribable Peace, Heavenly Grace, feeling of "mission accomplished" and the warm love and Prayers of so many friends. We are strong in Christ and, on my behalf and that of my wife Belén and children, want to thank every single one of you for the overwhelming support during this toughest test...the hardest one we ever had to overcome. Amen 

-Friday July 1st, 2011
My dear friend and student Gary was in Asunción for a 2 weeks intensive guitar course. I must say that not only did he surpass every expectation I had regarding his person but he also surpassed every expectation as to the immense passion he puts into guitar music. His determination to overcome the technical difficulties that each piece we approached posed were simply a good reason to increase his will-power and determination.
We approached technique through the learning of pieces. As soon as we encountered a difficult passage, I´d present Gary with the technical means to overcome the difficulty. Sometimes, he would come up with the solution by just using his intuition and common sense. 3 days into the 2 weeks course, Gary sounded and looked like a pro. I must stress that he possesses a very beautiful guitar sound and many years playing the electric guitar definitely added to his great musicality. On the classical front, he left Asuncion playing the best part of Asturias, Romance, Dust in the Wind and Cavatina... Gary already made the hotel reservations for next year and I look forward to the day we meet again because we have become good friends... more buddies than friends actually... I know he is enjoying his Summer cabin near Kodiak as I write my memories of those 2 wonderful weeks.
guitar scale lenght
I often tell my students and customers that shorter guitar scales are one of the best approaches to mastering the instrument. Passing from one scale to another requires very little time to adjust if any at all. The difference between 650 and 630 is quite dramatic. If you look at the picture above I took of 2 fingerboards I had ready for comparison, you will see that there is almost a 1 fret difference towards the 19th fret. That is a lot especially who have small hands and a limited stretch.
Sound wise, you have a little loss but I compensate during the construction. In the next few days I will be offering a 630 mm Blackwood/Spruce I tested today prior lacquering... You will not believe the sound on this babe: AMAZING !!!

-Sunday May 15th 2011
Renato's nephews
My 7 children and their cousins posed with their Grandma on Mother's day. Asunción, May 15 2011, Paraguay's Bicentennial day.

-Saturday May 13th 2011:
My wife Belén spends a lot of time with her best friends from college: Diana, Lore and Ceci. We hang out together a lot and as you can see from the pictures below, good food is always the best excuse. We had Fondue at a nice restaurant in San Bernardino, Café Frances, and Pasta at Bellini in downtown Asunción.

Saturday April 30th 2011:  Part 1: 
  • The Vigil of a night to remember...
I will just say that last night was a GLORIOUS night. I will elaborate on everything that happened on this Friday, April 29th 2011 later today. Having the 3 best guitar players on the planet play your instruments in your home and surrounded by your wife and children is recognition I could have only dreamed of when I started building my guitars in 2004.  Last night, it all changed thanks to the talent and generosity of these amazing artists. As a token, I'll let you enjoy this clip of Ana Vidovic playing Asturias on one of my latest creations... Ana loved each single instrument and had words of admiration and flattering compliments for each one of my guitars. Needless to say, I was in Heaven ! She appreciated the violin tie as a "genial system", the special cutaway and the  radius... The inlay work on a cedar top and the detailing in the construction literally kept her in awe. I elaborated on my innovations and we share the same innovative sprit in life. Her guitar  technique for instance, is flawless and different from anything you have ever seen before. Her motto is "if it works for you...". Ana is an amazing artist and her trademark is the simplicity of the GREAT souls that illuminate our lives.  A lot more later...

This is an anecdotal report of the facts and by no means associates Ana Vidovic with Bellucci guitars from a sponsoring or business point of view.

Guitarist Ana Vidovic, looking at the tie system

Ana was amazed at the amazing inlay work 
and detailing of the guitars

Thursday April 29th 2011:
Today is the vigil of a very special day and not because Prince Williams is getting married tomorrow but because tomorrow evening, I will have 3 of the most famous and prestigious guitar players in the world at home for dinner.  Ana Vidovic from Croatia, Sharon Isbin from the US and  Xuefei Yang from China.  Daiana Ferreira Da Costa, the renowned Paraguayan guitarist and former Miss Paraguay, contacted me a few months ago when she was organizing the "Divas" guitar festival in Asuncion which is part of the many events that will take place this year to celebrate Paraguay's Bicentennial. Daiana knew that she could count on my help and, as we had dinner at my home in San Bernardino, we planned activities to entertain the visiting Divas on their week long stay in the land of Barrios Mangoré. They will be traveling to San Juan Bautista to visit Agustin Barrios Mangoré birthplace among other Paraguayan landmarks.  One of the activities we organized is the dinner party that I will hold tomorrow evening. I will present them with the Agustin Barrios guitar that I have in my possession. I will also present them a few of my concert guitars. 

As you can imagine, I have been working around the clock to make sure that everything is perfect. Typical Paraguayan appetizers, aho poi  table decoration, flowers and a myriad little details to ensure a night to remember.   My wife Belén and our 7 children will be attending the memorable event.  I know that they  have over a dozen pictures of the Divas ready to be autographed. 

Ana Vidovic (31) is from a small town, Karlovac near Zagreb, Croatia, and started playing guitar at the age of 5. By the age of 7 had given her first public performance. She has won every prestigious guitar competition in the world and graduated under Manuel Barrueco in 2005. She has played well over 1000 concerts worldwide and is considered one of the best guitar players ever. 

Sharon Isbin (55) is practically speaking a legend. She's originally from Minneapolis, and began her guitar studies at age nine in Italy where she studied with Maestro Oscar Ghiglia. Since those early years she has marked the guitar world deeply by becoming the Director of guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and The Juilliard School which she created in l989 becoming the first and only guitar instructor in the institution's 100-year history. She's a Grammy Award winner and a regular player at the White House.

Xuefei Yang (34) was discovered by world renowned guitar Player John Williams who literally introduced her to the Royal Academy of Music in London after hearing her play in China. She has won innumerable prizes in guitar competitions and has toured the world several times over.

The other great Diva that will be participating in the week long Festival is Paraguayan  world renowned guitarists Berta Rojas. She will not be attending dinner because she is touring and will be arriving in Asuncion next Monday just in time for her evening gala concert. Berta is a sensational guitarist and a dear friend of mine. We have been classmates at the Asuncion conservatory, and shared first prize in an historical Barrios Competition back in 1982. My contribution to her astronomical career has been to tell her about Abel carlevaro and leveling the path for her to meet and study under the great Uruguayan Maestro.  Berta moved on to winning International competitions and, soon after, was  touring the world. She is one of the most celebrated classical guitarists in the world today. Her playing is lively, brilliant and she possesses one of the best guitar techniques I have ever seen.
Below, you can see the Ana Vidovic, Xuefei Yang and Sharon Isbin paying my guitars a memorable April Evening 2011. Also, an exclusive excerpt of Ana Vidovic playing Asturias on one of my Spruce top concert guitars.

Monday May 2, 2011: A night with Ana Vidovic, Sharon Isbin and Fei Yang (part 2)

I will now start to remember everything that happened on this memorable April 30th chronologically. Preparing our home was the first step to ensure that the atmosphere would complement the event to perfection and ensure that everyone would feel at home. My home is a piece of art on her own right. Being a guitarist, married to a pianist (my wife Belén is an accomplished classical pianist and a nutritionist), our nest had to represent us justly. Our home has been the focal point of musical encounters since the late 1970s... It has been photographed by every major decoration/architecture magazine you can think of and innumerable commercials have been filmed here..... it is one of Paraguay's most beautiful homes built in a Mediterranean style with a Paraguayan touch to it.

The pictures below depict the music living room one hour before Ana Vidovic, Sharon Isbin and Fei Yang arrived. Everything was perfect... only the candles remained to be lit.
The 3 guitars on the left are 3 Bellucci guitars along with the cedar top on the right side of the table. To the left side of the table, you can see Agustin Barrios 1918 guitar. Every single guitar was played by the Divas and they all had preciously rewarding words to dedicate to them.

The 3 guitars to the left are:  Purple Heart, Palo Escrito and Tasmanian Oak back and sides -starting from the far right-. The 2 guitars on the table are Brazilian rosewood babes. Each wood has its own very unique set of tone colors just like different species or blends of tobaccos or bouquets of wines... 

This is the view of the house as each one of the players would see it when playing sitting in a chair that was located right under the window to the gallery in the picture above. Before the guests arrived, I sat tuned each guitar to perfection using my tuning fork.  The first to play was Sharon Isbin and she commented "Wow she is perfectly tuned !" ... I know that she probably expected to find her out of tune but Mr. Bellucci will simply not let something like this happen ;-)

-Tuesday, May 3rd 2011: (Part 3)

Friday had been a very nice day with a temperature in the high 20s C (80.6 F). At about 6 PM a torrential rain preceded by lightning and thunder begun... The windows in the gallery overlooking the garden started to get steamed up as the humidity had reached its peak outside and the air conditioner was maintaining a comfortable 20 C inside. This added to the mystic of the evening since the illumination of the garden coming in through the large steamed windows created a wonderful diffused effect.... Romantic to say the least.  Therefore, even the torrential rain was adding up to the already electrifying atmosphere.

My only concern was the flooded streets of Asunción that literally become city rivers in a matter of minutes. A call from Guitarist Diana Ferreia immediately eased me up...she tells me, in her always joyful tone of voice, "The girls and I are on our way... the traffic and the flood may delay us a bit..."

Finally, at 7:30 I hear the engine of an SUV and a door closing just outside the driveway. My wife Belén opens the door to start greeting the girls. My 7 children and I welcomed them in the house with flowers, kisses and hugs... :-)

They thanked us for the flower welcoming and proceeded to to praise our home and the beautiful architecture. After a brief walk through the four main living rooms adjacent one to the other and only separated by arches, their attention was focused on the guitar display I had prepared with anticipation.

Ana Vidovic, Sharon Isbin, Xuefei Yang
Sharon Isbin, Xuefei Yang, Ana Vidovic, Renato Bellucci
As Sharon Isbin was preparing to play on my 1918 Barrios guitar, Ana was closely looking and admiring the amazing work on the Bellucci Cedar top that was laying on the table. "Very beautiful... look at all the inlay work ! ¨ Xuefei was right next to her and would follow up on Ana comments with "yes, really beautiful" . They would slowly gain confidence and start caressing the parts of the guitar with their beautifully stylized hands...

Ana Vidovic and Xuefei Yang admiring the Bellucci cedar top as Sharon Isbin 
was preparing to play on Barrios' guitar

As soon as I passed Barrios guitar to Sharon she started admiring the beauty of the inlay work and the amazing restoration work performed on the 1888 instrument. The guitar is a first class turn of the 18th century Torres

As they were admiring the guitar, Sharon Isbin was preparing to play on the 1918 Barrios guitar that I had just handed to her. We sat down and started hearing Sharon comments on the 1888 Marin guitar (Agustin Barrios played this guitar for the last time at the Luque Cathedral in 1918). "What a sweet sound, beautiful... what is the scale?...."  I answered " 650..."
Soon after we were all immersed in the most beautiful music played by the greatest performers... Bach, Barrios, Rodrigo, Lauro and many other legendary composers echoed through my home as each performer was taking turns to play ...
Below you can see Fei, Ana and Sharon playing my concert guitars. Fei fell in love with the Tasmanian Oak and played one piece after the other non stop.... She only came to realize she was playing a cutaway when her hand passed the 12 fret as nothing was there to contain the rapid movement of the arm.... She laughed and said... "ah, she's a cutaway !  So easy to play". To which I followed up saying " yes, I think all guitars should be cutaways" . To this day, I believe that the cutaway is the best evolution in the classical guitar construction since its very origin. I must stress that Fei is a very funny and gentle person....
Ana Vidovic, Sharon Isbin, Xuefei Yang

more later... -Wednesday, May 4th 2011: (Part 4)
Before continuing with the chronological recount, I must make a brief pause and report on last night's amazing concert that Ana Vidovic offered to a packed house. Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo was there and so were every diplomatic and political personality you can imagine. I have looked into the dictionary to find the right words and adjectives to describe the emotions, mastery and artistry that this splendid artist can create and offer from stage and in the intimacy of everyday life....

In my 49 years with the guitar I have listened to innumerable masters and every time, I would raise the bar and eventually reached the conclusion that John Williams was "the King"... well, apparently there is also a Queen or, to be more precise, 4 Queens...  Last night, Ana made the Asuncion Flores theater explode with joy and euphoria... 

When an artist moves so close to perfection, you know she's offering an idea of what the Heavens are like... you remember that humans are capable of the most amazing feats.  When you start a concert with one of Bach most demanding works and finish with a similarly tough bone as Barrios' La Catedral you make a statement and you leave a deep mark in every one's heart and soul. Add to this the great artistry and the gentle soul that Ana possesses, and you know that you are in the presence of greatness. 

Bravo Ana for having worked so hard in polishing your God given talent.  It brings joy to so many hearts in as far away places as the land of Barrios... Paraguay .... 

-Thursday May 5th 2011: (Part 5) 

I have never bought 5 CDs by a single artist ever. It all changed at Xuefei Yang concert last Tuesday. After hearing her play live at home last Friday, playing an amazingly wide repertoire and showing a perfect technique and feeling for music, I had to buy her CD collection and I did just that as I entered the Asunción Flores theater where she was about to perform. 

It was the opening night of the Divas guitar festival in Asunción. A 2 parts concert where both Xuefei Yang and Ana Vidovic would leave a deep, unforgettable mark in everyone who attended (over 1,500 people). 

The amount of pieces Fei recorded in a 10 years span is amazing. Below are the 5 CDs I purchased. Mine were dedicated and autographed at the dinner we had after the concert at Rolandi, a first class restaurant at walking distance from the hotel where Fei and the other Divas were staying.

I have been listening to her CDs non stop since I purchased them on Tuesday. Dazzling music performed by a true master of the guitar. Xuefei will be performing at Carnegie hall this coming December and that is a place reserved for music Royalty. She was heading straight for Beijing from Asunción to take part in a the very prestigious Beijing Music Festival 2011. 

The Beijing Music Festival is the summit for the topnotch classical and jazz musicians. In the past, the festival hosted well acclaimed musicians and orchestras like the Vienna Boys Choir, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Oper Berlin and The Kenyan Boys Choir. This festival also strives to schedule rarely performed pieces or premiers like Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’  and Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle. The organizers also think about the young music lovers and organize concerts for them without any admission fee. It is a truly global and cutting edge musical experience and Fei will be playing there.

Four Seasons

Concierto de Aranjuez

Classical Guitar 

40 degrees North

Romance de Amor

The pieces she recorded are amazingly beautiful, challenging and she literally covers every type of repertoire you can think of: Bach, Albéniz, Tárrega, The Beatles, Granados, Stephen Goss, Wang Huiran, Barrios and the list goes on and on... The only challenge she may face is finding more music for future projects :-). 

See Xuefei play my guitars and Barrios' 1928 guitar

See Xuefei Yang ripped it at the Asuncion Festival 

Xuefei Yang delighted me and everyone else at the dinner party I held at my home. She played several pieces from her vast repertoire on all  my guitars plus the 1918 Barrios´ guitar from my collection. Her technique is polished to the maximum and her fingers fly as she plays the different pieces from the great repertoire she possesses.  In the video, Fei comments that the Barrios guitar is "small", indeed she has a small body, typical of the turn of the 19th century although the scale is a full 650mm. As it were to be expected, Xuefei played Barrios´ Un sueño en la floresta on my 1918 Barrios guitar. That was a surreal moment...   I can only imagine the Paraguayan composer rejoicing in Heaven. She particularly loved the power of my Spruce top and at a certain point in the execution, she comes to realize that it's a cutaway because her hand finds no restrain at the 12th fret and laughs it out !... 

The concert on the 3rd of May was pure mastery of the instrument and the repertoire.  President Lugo attended and he can be seen in the video joking with Sharon Isbin. I was assigned seats right in front of the President and I could hear his comments of satisfaction as Fei executed each piece to perfection. Fei plays with a total dominion of the instrument, a polished sound that only few masters can develop and she proved that the great land of China is the cradle of talent beyond everyone's imagination. I look forward to receiving her in Paraguay soon again.

-Saturday May 13th 2011: (Part 6) 

One of the greatest satisfactions that awaited for me on that memorable night (April 29th, 2011) with Sharon Isbin, Xuefei Yang, 
Ana Vidovic was the possibility to play for them and my entire family. I used Barrios' 1918 guitar.

Anyone who is passionate about a particular area of human art or history,  will understand that certain instruments can easily become a man's favorite possession. 

Imagine for instance being a piano player and having the possibility to own and play one of Beethoven's pianos... or a Van Gogh admirer and owning one of his many brushes... Well, the same is true with Barrios' guitar. The greatest composer for the guitar ever, left one of his instruments behind and I was the man chosen to possess such a beauty and pass it on to future generations. I received her in deplorable conditions and after nearly 10 months of restoration work took her back to her original splendor. You can read the complete story of this beauty here

Renato Bellucci playing for Ana Vidovic, Xuefei Yang and Daiana Ferreira da Costa

These amazing ladies all took turns to play Agustin Barrios' guitar... (Bellucci collection) 

Comments posted since posting this article:
USKurt Waugh from the US: extremely impressive, Renato!!!
Mintu Bora from Indonesia:  Maestro Renato, that's going to be one really musical dinner. Wow, the very best of guitarists. And beautiful Ana!!! :-) I wish I were there :-(
USEfrain Guzman Villanueva from the US:  Una lastima no poder ir pero deseo un acontesimiento espectacular!!!
Bodhi Civa from Indonesia: Is Ana married? Ehm... just curious:)
Afshin Jalili Ziyaeian from Iran, marvelous evening with great guitarists. Maestro, have a nice time with them
USJoseph Krygier from the US,  What a gala. All that talent around your dinner table. Enjoy. And the rest of the blog entries are so interesting. I met David Russell here a few years ago after a concert and Marcin Dyla another year. This year, Jason Vieaux will be here.all have been very gracious to say hello and talk for a few minutes. You are much appreciated.
ItalyConcetta Resta from Italy, complimenti Renato, che soddisfazione per te e tutti voi!
The other amazing token of Grace, came through the comment that a luthier from Granada, Spain posted after I uploaded my latest creation:
Javier's Epic Paraguayan barbecue

Wednesday April 26, 2011:
Some souls have the gift or talent to change another person's life for the best with a simple gesture or a simple action... I asked Gary (see previous entry to my blog dated April 22)  to mail me a picture from the time he served in Vietnam with the Green Berets and he did A LOT more than that. He got in his full uniform and snapped a picture with his latest Custom Bellucci guitar in his arms... Man, I am speechless. Thanks dear friend for making this day a super special day !! 

The other amazing token of Grace, came through the comment that a luthier from Granada, Spain posted after I uploaded my latest creation: Páginas en EspañolLuthier Fernando Moreno from Granada, Spain, Hola señor Bellucci le escribo simplemente para saludarle y comentarle que sus guitarras son un alucine, es increible el trabajazo y la finura con que usted termina sus guitarras, es sublime, enorabuena, seria un placer algun dia poderlo conocer. Reciba un cordial saludo Att Fernando Moreno.  Hello Mr Bellucci, I am writing to you to greet you and compliment you because your guitars are amazing, the work and grace in the finishing details is sublime, congratulations. It would be an honor to meet you one day. Best Regards... When you consider that Granada is, practically speaking, the homeland of the classical guitar, you'll understand the grandeur of the compliment.

Holy Friday April 22, 2011:
Every year, approximately 8 students come from different parts of the world to study classical guitar with me in person. I am one of the few guitar teachers in the world to teach Carlevaro technique both online and in person.
Today I received the background information of one of my International students that will be coming to Asunción for a 2 weeks intensive guitar course in June 2011. He stands out from the average guitar students for a series of  reason. Let alone that anyone traveling so far to receive guitar instruction is proof enough that he/she is not the average guitar student,  Gary has his very unique set of amazing life stories to make him really stand out from the crowd.  Gary is originally from Montana but moved to Kodiak Alaska where he has been living since 1958. In my mind, Alaska is the last frontier...  Gary enlisted in the US army right out of high school and managed to become a member of the elite force the renowned Green Berets

Before Gary, the closest I got to know a Green Beret was Sylvester Stallone in Rambo and John Tyree in "Dear John", therefore, you can only imagine my excitement to the idea that a real Green Beret and guitarist would soon be in Asunción. 
Gary survived 2 tours in Vietnam and was seriously injured in several occasions. He retired from the elite group in 1974.

Gary Enen

After a long time recovering from the war injuries, he managed to attend college and study atmospheric sciences and Meteorology. Upon graduation, Gary went to work for the Department of Commerce as a forecaster. He traveled extensively throughout Alaska and, finally, ended up back in Kodiak in 1984. He has loved the guitar  since he can remember and he already possesses 3 Bellucci Custom guitars. He decided to make the pilgrimage to Asuncion and boost his technique with my help. Needless to say, he will take Paraguayan warmth back with him to Alaska and he will be an honorary visitor to the land of Barrios.

Kodiak , Alaska

-Sunday, April 17, 2011:
Another spectacular weekend at Sanber as the Holy week starts with Palm Sunday. The weather was more like Summer and it is typical of this time of the year. We pass from 20 degrees Celsius to 35 in just a couple of days... This will probably be the last warm weather before the short yet rigid Winter hits us. Needless to say, our Winters are mild compared to Northern Hemisphere countries. My students that come from the States around June which is our Winter, go around town in their tee shirts when all the locals are wearing coats and scarf.
I received the visit of my Brother in Law Javier who came for a barbecue Paraguayan style with his wife, and 2 of their 3 sons. They arrived in Javier's new black beamer and I decided to immortalize the moment.

My brother in-law Javier in his new black beamer roadster

Javier is a civil engineer and he is one of the best barbecue makers I know. Today's barbecue was no exception... I mean, look at the picture below and you will understand what I mean in a heartbeat !

Javier's Epic Paraguayan barbecue

Only a long siesta could put us back on our feet after the above bonanza... 

-Saturday, April 16, 2011:
My youngest son Matias filled my bedroom with music at siesta time. He is already half way through the  first part of Romance at his tender 5 years of age. I get shivers every time my children play the guitar. They all play the guitar and some of them also play the piano and the violin. It all comes very natural to them. My wife is a Nutritionist but a graduate piano student as well. 

Matias playing Romance at siesta time

I was in the pool most of the afternoon and stayed in the water well past sunset. The water was perfect and with Paraguayan Winter just around the corner, this will probably be one of the last pool parties of the season.

Renato's home in Sanber... picture taken from the pool

A glorious day by the lake comes to a close....

-Friday April 15, 2011
I woke up very early this morning.... somewhere around 6... I knew it was going to be an especially laborious day because today marked the launch of a new line of Bellucci concert guitars. This new venture was working in the back of my mind to the point of getting me out of bed much earlier than usual. I decided to call the new line "The Bellucci Da Vinci Series". I have always been a very curious person and I have a very keen imagination. When you take this to the luthery arena, the possibilities seem to be endless. Instruments like the guitar are constantly undergoing change and innovation. The new line of guitars will be centering about any and all type of evolution that I bring about in the construction of classical guitars. This was the case with today's first Da Vinci guitar: "Homage to Abel Carlevaro"... 

Bellucci Da Vinci Series guitar "Homage to Abel Carlevaro"

The idea of violin style "F" holes is not new in guitar building. Archtop guitars have had this feature for decades now but in the classical guitar realm, this is definitely not the case. Adding the "F holes" to my other incorporations like the armrest, the radiused fingerboard, the violin tie and the special cutaway, you definitely have a world first. As of today, all Bellucci guitars that present innovations of any sort that get the classical guitar one step closer to perfection will belong to this new Series.

The instrument is an eye candy and its voice is simply stunning. The sound is projected from different parts of her body resulting in an amazingly varied array of sounds that combine majestically in the creation of music. Read more about this amazing "Da Vinci Series guitar" here
Friday evening was at my dear friend Hugo's home where he invited a Paraguayan folk music duet to crown the wonderful evening. We heard a vast selection of Paraguayan classics and fantastic arrangements of music from all over America and Europe. Cristobal passed his guitar to me asking me to play Barrios' "una limosna"....  as a token of appreciation, he came with the harp right next to me and homaged me with a beautiful harp solo.  I play almost exclusively private recitals for selected groups of friends and fans. A night to remember.

-Thursday April 14, 2011:
Two great surprises were in store for me on this 14th of April. One was the arrival of a book (The best book I have ever had) that my friend Ray mailed 10 days ago from the US: "Leonardo da Vinci, The complete paintings and drawings" (image below) It is GIGANTIC on all fronts !. It was one of Ray's most treasured possessions and he wanted to send it to me as a token of appreciation for the amazing Tiger Guitar he purchased from me that in his words "is the type of guitar Leonardo da Vinci would have built" (see April 8). The book is amazing. The presentation and the quality of the writing and of the images is stunning. The book weights at 7 kg (approx. 14 pounds). It is huge and it is one of the most precious gifts I have ever received. Thank you Ray if you are reading this. At 700 XXL size pages, I have enough material to keep me busy for the rest of my life... Da Vinci is so much more than "Monalisa" or the shady character that "The Da Vinci code" made so popular. I can see a man striving at perfection in all his endeavors. His constant effort at perfecting his work and an immense curiosity are the only things I feel I share with the great Italian Italian master. I feel it when I embrace my guitar and polish a musical phrase. I feel it when I try t implement some new concept that may improve the sound and looks of my concert guitars... 

Leonardo da Vinci, The complete paintings and drawings

The other extremely pleasant surprise was the mail by my friend  and colleague Tim. He writes :  "Hi Renato: I have been paying Guadalupe at least an hour a day and the guitar is SUPER LOUD now and the sustain is UNREAL!  This guitar makes my old Ramirez 1A sound like  student instrument.  Congratulations on creating a true masterpiece!

Bellucci "Guadalupe" guitar

Tim Mackey, Recording Artist, Performer, Instructor Guitar, Mandolin, Violin & Banjo, OR, USA.
Tim has a fabulous home studio and possesses a one in a million guitar collection. In the picture below you can see Tim's studio and the guitar collection...

Tim Mackey studio with his amazing guitar collection

-Saturday April 9 & 10

As soon as our younger children are out of school on Friday, we pack our stuff and head for San Bernardino, a small town overlooking Ypacarai lake some 35 miles East of Asuncion. '

Google map Satellite view of our weekend home

We have a beautiful mediterranean style home there that we built on one of the hills overlooking the lake. We go there every single weekend. In the 5 years since we've built the house, we've only missed our weekly appointment with San Bernardino on counted occasions. Two of my children, Franco and Alessandro, attended the birthday of one of their classmates and my wife Belén and I had Dinner at my friend's Hugo home. Hugo is the head of one of Paraguay's largest legal buffets and we get together on a weekly basis to have dinner, play music and have long friendly chats. Hugo had pork prepared in the German style. To say that the dish was delicious is an understatement. A wonderful white wine accompanied our supreme dish... We stretched it well into the early morning hours and then took off knowing that we'd be going to Sanber (short for San Bernardino) the following morning.
Saturday was perfect... Paraguayan Autumn resembles the Northern Hemisphere's Spring and Belén and I spend most of the time under the trees in the back garden sipping tereré (a typical Paraguayan drink made with ice cold water and Yerba mate, a tea like substance, that is sipped through a filtered type of metal straw. (Image below)....

My wife Belén enjoying the view of the lake


I took the picture below to immortalize the perfect weather we had this weekend. The Asunción skyline was clearly visible. In the picture  it's covered by the thick canopy of trees to the right. I played Barrios most of the morning. Later  watched some Italian soccer on TV where Napoli  is close to winning an historical championship and was eagerly waiting for the final round at Augusta where Tiger Woods almost snapped an amazing victory at one of the tournament most thrilling final rounds ever with over 5 players tied at the top at -10 ... I am certain that the great golf champion is finally back ... 

Our Home on the Sanber Hillside. Picture taken: April 10, 2011

-Friday, April 8, 2011:

Today started out just as any other day. Little did I know that quite a few pleasant surprises were awaiting for me at the guitar studio. My son Renato had already begun taking the pictures of our last creation. Had it not been for one particular shot that needed to be lit from a very specific and quite tricky angle, I would have probably not participated in the guitar photo shoot at all.

Aged Brazilian Rosewood B&S, Lattice Braced Alpine Spuce top
TJ (my son Renato's nick)  has steadily become a more proficient photographer and I am tremendously proud of both his studio and post production work at the computer where each image must be perfectly selected to deliver the best possible impression of the guitar. This babe will most likely be purchased by a player thousands of miles away... The second, very pleasant surprise, came immediately after. As I tuned her up to make the demo video, I knew in a heartbeat that I was embracing a top notch masterpiece guitar. The sound on the third string caught my attention from the get go. This string is generally very quiet on classical guitars. I am often left wondering why it is that some instruments have an edge over the rest when everything about the construction is identical to the work done on preceding instruments. The first answers that come to mind are: 
-The intricate net of wood fibers differ from one set of wood to another. This makes sense at least partially. Brazilian Rosewood especially, presents itself in so many different forms. I can say with certainty that it is the most varied species on Earth. Then my imagination starts wondering around more spectacular, yet not very scientifical reasons. For instance, some people say that cutting a tree during a specific phase of the Moon changes its overall tonal qualities... the problem with this theory is that I associate the phases of the Moon with Werewolves, Vampires and not guitars. In any case, I want to keep an open mind and I am sure that the real factors will never be pinpointed. 
The final great surprise was the phone chat I had with my good friend from the US Ray. He is happy beyond words regarding his recent purchase of a Bellucci Tiger guitar... Ray has this amazing gift in his manners of speech to elevate your soul and make a great day into an even better one. I shivered from head to tows when he said that "if Leonardo da Vinci had built guitars, they would very much resemble my guitars". It is not precisely the type of compliment you receive on a daily basis... therefore, it is easily understandable that Ray made the rest of my month with that comment. Ray has owned 302 guitars in life and, coming from him, the comment meant everything ! We discussed the next project which will most likely be 7 strings guitar with some construction innovations that I will be presenting in future blogs. 

A little bit of my guitar history

During my 42  years as a guitarist, I've had the chance of studying and meeting some of the best known guitarist of all times. The guitar pictures that follow, immortalized some of my life's greatest moments. This page is not be just a display of classical guitar related pictures but  a place where I share some historical moments in my life as a classical guitar student, performer and teacher; moments that many of the visitors to can relate to.

My musical career started when I was 8 in Taranto , Italy.   Today, 15,000 Kilometers to the South in Asuncion, Paraguay, I am celebrating my 42nd anniversary as a musician. Paraguay, a beautiful country I have first  visited in 1974 when my parents came to visit an uncle that lived in Brazil. Paraguay had a deep impact in all the members of my family and although we never thought we would live here forever, 36 years have passed and it sure does not look like I am going anywhere. My parents have gone back to Italy in 2006. I decided to stay here and as long as my guitar teaching website and guitar manufacture workshop permits, I intend to stay for good. Still, I am old enough to have learned that "for good" is one of those clichés that often miss the target. 

I must stress one TRUTH...Segovia was the greatest guitar figure that ever lived. Mostly because he had to pave a way for an instrument, the guitar, which was mostly unknown to the great public at the beginning of the 20th Century. Segovia  ´´pushed´´ many young players careers who attended his famous Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and Italian (Siena) masterclasses. And, sadly, literally pushed many players careers to an abrupt end. Few musicians, not to say none before or since, had such a profound impact on their instruments as Segovia did in the classical guitar world.

A picture can say a thousand words, those moments with the great maestros have changed my life forever. In the guitar picture taken in Segovia's studio in Madrid during a private lesson (image below), I was playing one of Bach Bourree in B minor.

(guitar picture) Segovia and Renato Bellucci
Renato Bellucci with Andres Segovia. Madrid 1984

My hands were cold and moist. The maestro took his chance to give me a little advice..."before you start playing, try doing what I do before playing in concert. If your hands are cold, take your time to warm them....I once asked for a thermos with hot water before playing in a New York winter concert and warmed my hands with it for almost 10 minutes...the public had to wait ten minutes more for a much better performance..." As people grows older, they also grow philosophical. It is difficult to put into words all the feelings, sensations and impressions that such a colossal moment means in a young guitarist's life. I was 22.... fresh out of Conservatory with my first major guitar competition won and a whole life in front of me. In 1983 Segovia was to me the most important figure on the face of the Earth.

I remember getting out of the elevator with my guitar case to then walk the last few steps to access the attic of this mid size and few stories building where Segovia had his Madrid apartment on one floor and his studio right under the roof. I heard the locks to this huge metal door open (more like a safe box door actually)  as my heartbeat started accelerating with anticipation. Finally the door started opening and the figure of the greatest (and oldest) guitarist alive started appearing before my eyes. The master made a gesture as he was saying "Adelante Renato" to make me welcome. 

I did not know whether to make a reverie, kiss the hand or simply shake hands as I ultimately did. I wanted to pinch myself at every step I took towards the heart of the studio. "So, this is what a Studio looks like?" was one of the thousand thoughts crossing my mind...several guitar cases were visible on the right wall and Segovia's practice setup took a good portion of the room.

Everything he used to practice seemed to be big...a big music stand, a big cushioned footstool and, of course, a huge piano type chair. Everything was made of wood and seemed to be part of a set. A portrait was hanging over his head and another huge portrait was hanging by the main door. Segovia was the subject of both portraits of course ! Several pictures were scattered here and there and he was photographed with several people... music sheets were simply all over....

Segovia practice
Segovia practicing in his Madrid studio

The picture above was published in National Geographic magazine in 1980. The studio looks exactly like this. Only 2 things are different: 1- The photographer put a small blanket on the window to avoid the light from spoiling the picture 2-Segovia always practiced in his bathrobe and the sleek outfit is only for obvious photographic reasons. If you look at my picture with the maestro (above) you will see him in his " regular" outfit.
The place where my picture with the maestro was taken is just to the left of the guitar cases on the floor in the lower left of the picture. A small TV is there along with an intimate living room.

That was all the observing I could do because a few seconds later, after he closed the huge door to the studio, he approached me again inviting me to sit down. He asked me a few questions about my background and studies and I am not sure of what I told him...all I recall is what he told me. The one thing I knew I wanted to tell him was that I had been listening to a Bach Bourree and Double he recorded in the early 60s and I simply loved it. I a reply he asked me :"Do you play it?"...I said "yes" and he replied :"Play it for me"....

I was speechless and I sincerely did not know if I was going to be able to move a single finger. I was about to play for the childhood Idol !   I took a deep breath and started playing...The atmosphere was magic and I never thought the human brain could deal with so many things simultaneously....the hands moving around the guitar, my imagination running at 1000 miles an hour, the overwhelming feeling of achievement and of course, keeping me alive...

I played the last chord of the Bourree and after a few seconds of silence Segovia extended his right hand and shook mine in a good job kind of way....He was certainly not the kind of master to be impressed very easily and neither was it my objective. He proceeded to explain some of the passages in the Bourree and how he went about transcribing pieces. He made a point saying that he would transcribe only if the piece was going to shine as bright or brighter than on the original instrument. Everything he explained was accompanied by very wide gestures of his arm and hands.

The next thing he did was to look closely at my guitar. I took a Contreras double top for Segovia to look at and give me his opinion on the double top Contreras was developing at the time. Segovia looked at the guitars from all possible angles and I was marveled at the way he handled the instrument...after all Segovia and guitars had been having a 90 years affair !! He gave it back to me and told me to pass him one of the guitar cases that were on the right wall of the studio. He liked the poetic sound and admired Contreras vision of the double top.

The first great maestro I had the chance of studying with when I was living in Spain was Narciso Yepes

Renato Bellucci with Narciso Yepes
Renato Bellucci With Narciso Yepes in Las Rosas, Spain

A small man but a great human being. I had to travel 50  kilometers to his Las Rosas home. He was an innovator. To start out with, he had a 10 strings Ramirez guitar built on request. In the picture I'm playing Barrios' "Una limosna por el amor de Dios"... he had never heard the piece. Immediately after I finished playing it, he said "your tremolo is very smooth and "christaline", I seldom like a piece the first time I hear it....let me see if I have the music sheet in my collection...I'd like to play that piece in Italy next month...." These words, coming from the one man who renders tremolo at its best were definitely a boost to my young ego.

Yepes in Asuncion
Yepes in concert: Asuncion
Mrs Pastrone, great cook
Ms. Pastrone, one of the best cooks in the world, prepared a special cake with the
shape of a 10 strings guitar to be offered to Maestro Narciso Yepes upon his arrival to Asuncion.

Abel Carlevaro and Renato
The one maestro that influenced me the most is undoubtedly Abel Carlevaro
Renato With Carlevaro in Montevideo

Later in these pages,  I will elaborate more on the word "influence".

I always say that Carlevaro would have been a great interpreter no matter what instrument he had chosen. He thought me to think for myself and, being his technique the result of years of inner searching, he would not deprive me the same "pleasure"... He told me during one of our lessons "Don't do anything I tell you to do unless your brain agrees"... After only 6 months with the maestro, I ordered the famous "Manuel Contreras- Carlevaro Model guitar". I only gave her up when I started building my own concert guitars.

The following pictures were taken during the famous Segovia Masterclasses at USC in the summer of 1986. 

Segovia at USC with Renato Bellucci
Andres Segovia with Renato at USC.

Everyone seemed to be there. Christopher Parkening was blending and sharing moments and signing autographs with a truly  bright and honest  Jn 3:16 beneath his signature with every young player with the greatness and simplicity that has always characterized him, Michael Lorimer, Marcelo Kayath. At the USC masterclasses with Segovia, I remember Marcelo Kayath listening to Yamashita perform Pictures at an exhibition in his Walkman. Suddenly, he would remove the earphones and tell me and the other guitarists (Lily Afshar, William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant, Mary Akerman) in the dorms common area : "Unbelievable !! He's (Yamashita) playing tremolo using the little finger alone !" Coming from the most impressive player of the 80s, the comment was definitely worth looking into. Remember that Yamashita had just ripped the guitar world in Toronto with his TERRIFIC interpretation of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an exhibition and Kayath had just won the Toronto and Radio France guitar competition in the same year... a feat believed to be impossible to attain... 

That would be the last time I saw the great Spaniard... he died 6 months later due to pneumonia.  His last words to me were   ", Renato, always in love with the guitar?"  ... and I exchanged a glimpse with the maestro as he was getting in the car.

My greatest advice for my students and friends is to have, live and die for a dream. Simply make sure it is the "right" dream. Great maestros are looking for great strive on their students' part. No great teacher is far enough for a real pupil.

Maestro Abel Carlevaro, who recently died in Germany during a concert-masterclass tour, was an innovator in many ways. In this picture taken by his wife in his Montevideo apartment, he was telling me he would take me as his student. I was living in Spain at the time, and moved to Montevideo where I studied under him for a year. Read more about Carlevaro, clicking on the links to the left.

Manuel ContrerasYoung Renato Bellucci in Italy, 1969

Above is Manuel Contreras with me in his  guitar shop-studio 1986. To the right it is me in 1969. My first public performance. Di Cagno Abbrescia School (my elementary school) in Bari, Italy. Just a  few weeks before I watched as Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

Turning point

Two weeks after the Di Cagno Abbrescia recital,  I played at Teatro Piccinni  in Bari. The way I felt that first time on stage is exactly the same way I feel today... 34 years after. The picture below is a view of Teatro Piccinni from the main stage.

Teatro Piccinni, Bari-Italy
Teatro Piccinni, Bari Italy. I made my debut here at age 9
Important recital
Playing on Cristoforo Colombo
This recital was a turning point in my life. It was a short 3 pieces recital on board the transatlantic Cristoforo Colombo. I was asked to play to celebrate. The ship was passing through the Equator that evening. A Flamenco player that was staying 2 rooms from mine, heard me practice in the mornings and told the events organizer (man in white) about my skill....   I realized for the first time the awesome power that a musical instrument has over our fellow human beings. The wood box with its 6 strings and my interpretation as a 9 years old boy, kept 300 people of all ages in absolute silence and hypnotized. The girl I was Platonically in love with finally had her eyes for me only... I knew then that the guitar was to be a part of me. 1 hour daily practice was nothing in exchange !
Carlevaro Masterclass
 Carlevaro Masterclass in Buenos Aires Teatro San Martin,  I am playing Bach Chaconne.


 Alirio Diaz home in Rome

Abel Carlevaro & Renato in Asuncion
Agustin Barrios Competition/festival

Akron Civic. Fisk made people go wild. Russell was simply too tired.
Renato Bellucci
TV program for RAI

Renato Bellucci by GyenesRenato 2000

The picture on the left was the first professional picture I had taken by one of Spain greatest photographers Gyenes, in 1984, the one on the right was taken by my wife (the greatest photographer ever...) in 2001

Renato with Russell
Renato and David Russell at the GFA

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