On the ground floor of Palazzo Sanguinetti in Bologna, in a museum dedicated entirely to music, is a replica of the workshop of the luthier Otello Bignami donated to the municipality by his heirs. The workshop features images, cut-outs, varnishes, work tools, and equipment, and can be visited by appointment.
Otello Bignami (Bologna, 1914 -1989) was a leading figure of Bologna lutherie school. After gaining experience as restorer, he began working as a luthier in the 1940s. He was Gaetano Pollastri’s pupil from 1949 to the end of the 1950s. Among the many awards he received, Bignami won the Cremona International Exhibition in 1949, the Third National Lutherie Competition of the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome in 1956, and the special award for “the Best Luthier in Italy” at the Wieniawsky competition in Poznan (Poland) in 1957.
The instruments he built over the course of his career, which lasted over forty years, stand out for their formal beauty and their full, harmonious acoustics.
Starting in the 1970s, Bignami began a parallel and intensive teaching career involving numerous pupils, an activity that proved vital in maintaining the continuity of Bologna’s longstanding luthierie tradition.