Violin Making in the Philippines - Amador Tamayo

I have mentioned my friend and colleague Amador Tamayo in Musicfest 2012 and PWU School of Music Performance Program as a cello mentor to our younger generation of talented cellists.

Amador has appeared as soloist with the Philippine Youth Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra and Manila Chamber Orchestra while serving as principal cellist for these orchestras. An avid chamber musician, he has performed two Beethoven Cello Sonatas with pianist Charito Pizzaro and collaborated with esteemed Filipino violinist, Gilopez Kabayao and his pianist wife, Corazon in performances and a recording of Schubert Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major.

He was a music student at the University of the Philippines, College of Music but eventually finished a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. As fate would have it, under the auspices of the Goethe Institut he was awarded a scholarship to study violin making in Germany. From 1978-1982 he worked as an apprentice to Hubert Schnorr in Hamburg supplemented by studies at Mittenwald School of Violin Making.

Lets visit his shop in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range outside of Metro Manila where...

...he is assisted by three associates.

Due to our tropical climate a temperature and humidity controlled environment is essential for storing wood and varnishing instruments.

Production figures since 1981 total to an estimated 140 violins, 20 violas and 20 cellos. Most of these instruments are played by Filipino musicians but a few have also made it abroad: Australia - 3 cellos, Canada - 3 violins, Germany - 4 violins, 2 violas + 1 cello. Singapore - 2 cellos, Taiwan - 2 violins + 2 cellos, USA - 6 violins + 1 cello and Vietnam - 1 cello. With more commissions and repair waiting, the shop is kept busy...

Amador doing routine maintenance on my old Italian mistress, a copy of which is in his long term project list ;)

Tamayo violin ca. 2007

Tamayo cello 2011


  1. hello,

    i would like to get in touch with Sir Amador Tamayo. i bought one of his violins before but i am needing maintenace and work up to be done. adaoes he have an e mail account or specific address so i can personally go to his shop?

    thank you


    1. In my quest to protect the privacy of individuals, I refrain from posting their contact information in this blog. But perhaps a bit of clever internet search would help. Thanks for understanding!

  2. An owner of a music store in Baguio repaired my broken cello, fixed some nicks in it, and then painted it brown! (It's an old school cello, had a nice tone.) What would it take for you to remove the paint, and varnish it with the high-quality varnishes required for a cello?

    1. Mr. Tamayo is on Facebook, please contact him there directly.




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