Domenico Montagnana (24 June 1686 – 6 March 1750) was an Italian master luthier based in Venice, Italy. He is regarded as one of the world's finest violin and cello makers of his time. His pieces, particularly his cellos, are extremely sought after by orchestras, notable musicians or collectors, and many form parts of collections in museums.
Prices for authentic pieces can reach millions of US dollars at auction.
Montagnana was born in Lendinara, Italy in 1686. He made stringed musical instruments (violins, violas, cellos) and double basses in Venice. He was apprenticed in Matteo Sellas workshop and after that he opened his own shop, active from 1712, located in Calle degli Stagneri,with insignia "Alla Cremona".
He is best known for his cellos, which are considered as excellent for concertos. He died in Venice, Italy in 1750. His workshop was then inherited by Giorgio Serafin, the nephew of Sanctus Seraphin.
Many of his pieces are still in circulation, used by famous musicians or are part of public or private collections. Artists who play or have played on Montagnanas include Stephen Kates, Lionel Tertis, Lynn Harrell, Mischa Maisky, Truls Mørk, Alfred Wallenstein, Josef Roismann, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, Maurice Eisenberg, Emanuel Feuermann, Daniel Saidenberg, Orlando Cole, Sevak Avanesyan, Nathaniel Rosen, Boris Andrianov, Galen Kelch and Ralph Kirshbaum.
- Petunia (1733) - owned by Yo-Yo Ma
- Esquire (1723) - owned by Truls Mørk
- Feuermann (1735) - Swiss collector
- Ex-Servais (1738) - owned by Nathaniel Rosen
- Mighty Venetian (1738) - owned by Nathaniel Rosen, previously owned by Adrien-Francois Servais (1807-1866)
- Kates-Hancock (1739) - owned by Stephen Kates until 2003
- Sleeping Beauty (1739) - owned by Heinrich Schiff
- Baron Steinheil (1740) (unknown)
- Duchess of Cleaveland (1740) (unknown)
- Montagnana (1710) - owned by Guilhermina Suggia
An international festival with concerts where some of Montagnana's instruments are used is held every year in his native town, Lendinara.
- Pio, Stefano (2004). Violin and Lute Makers of Venice 1640 - 1760. Venezia, Italy: Venice research. p. 383. ISBN 978-88-907252-2-7.
- Violin and Lute Makers of Venice 1640 - 1760 by Stefano Pio. Ed. Venice research, Venice, Italy, 2004 ISBN 978-88-907252-2-7
- Domenico Montagnana International Festival (Italian/English)
- Fox News archive story
- Venice Research
- Domenico Montagnana (Italian)