Daniel Friederich

2000, Paris

Top: Cedar
Back & Sides: Rosewood

Born in Paris in 1932, Daniel Friederich is considered by many to be the world’s greatest living luthier. Although influenced by Robert Bouchet, Friederich has always been his own man. His guitars have a rich, smooth and rounded sound that tends to sacrifice some of the percussive brashness of Spanish guitars in favor of a smoother, complex and almost pensive sound we identify as French. Friederich’s guitars were first noticed by players like Julian Bream and Ida Presti and today top performers, including Alvaro Pierri, Eduardo Fernandez, Scott Tennant and David Tanenbaum perform and record on Friederich guitars.

This particular Friederich, No. 770, was built for HGF founder L. John Harris and delivered to him in Paris in 2000. Harris requested that it be built exactly like an exceptional Friederich made for David Tanenbaum some years earlier. Because Friederich keeps careful notes on every guitar he makes, he was able to deliver an instrument as ordered. The only difference in the two guitars is that No. 770 is made with Brazilian rosewood, as specified by Harris, instead of Indian. Very few Friederich guitars are made with Brazilian rosewood, a species Friederich prefers not to work with because of its tendency to split. This guitar, one of only two guitars in the collection made by a living luthier (the other is by José Romanillos), has the refined French qualities one expects from this near-legendary maker who is still, thankfully, producing guitars into his eighties.