The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Michael Schreiner

Michael Schreiner has been building lutes, early guitars, and related historical instruments since 1969 at various locations in Toronto, Canada. His instruments are well built and based on both the player’s needs and thorough historical research.

Here is Michael Schreiner on his history and process:

“My first instrument, a 1845 Torres guitar, was built on a work bench that I set up after dinner in our kitchen in the fall of 1969. A lute followed a year later. It was not surprising that I chose historical instruments. In university I had majored in European history. A summer of Bronze Age archaeology in England had set my course if not established the details of my future. These early interests carried over into the first decade of my instrument building. They were characterized by an involvement with a wide range of early instruments and included working for two harpsichord makers and building a number of viola da gambas. Although I have always focused on lutes my perspective is the wider early music scene.

Many of my clients are professional players and by attending their concerts I can evaluate my instruments in their musical settings. I make it a point to work closely with interested clients to choose the model of instrument that best suits their needs at particular times in their careers. In collaboration with clients I also plan research and develop neglected models that may contribute to the scope of early music performance. This is an exciting time as it involves one or more museum visits, literature searches, the building of prototypes and the important trial periods and subsequent appraisals.

The instruments in my area of interest represent a musical culture that spans nearly 250 years. This includes an ever changing stylistic milieu and confusing regional ambiguities. The instruments I build representing this diversity should be different from one another in sound and playing style: an ideal that I try to obtain.”

Michael Schreiner at The Twelfth Fret