BIZZI - Historical Keyboard Instruments in Italy and Worldwide

Who is BIZZI?

BIZZI is manufacturer of historical keyboard instruments operating in 48 Countries:
Albania, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Byelorussia, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Columbia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lettonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Rep. of China, Romania, Russia, Rep. S. Marino, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syngapore, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, U.S.A, Vietnam.

Our company, founded in 1975, has specialized from the very beginning in the production and restoration of historical musical instruments. After many years of rich experiences and considerable investments in structure, R&D and market surveys, BIZZI has developed a new idea that in the last few years has placed the company in a significant position among the most qualified manufacturers of historical keyboard instruments, becoming recently leader in this market.

Some prestigious initiatives, carried out in the years 70s and 80s, like the restoration of the Collections of the Museo del Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Museo Correr in Venice, as well as the foundation of the Scuola di Liuteria of Milan, have allowed Bizzi to acquire the indispensable know-how and background for the launch a new project which would have required about ten years before being completed.

The goal was the establishment of a new company based on the same manufacturing principles of the greatest harpsichord makers of the past, and particularly the Ruckers dynasty, which is a unique example of high quality combined with great efficiency and incredible productivity.

This project was started in the early 90s with the idea of reproducing the historical manufacturing system of the Ruckers family, based on a perfect organization of all the craftwork activities required by the harpsichord construction.

While the respect of the fundamental design and making criterion of the old Masters was essential, at the same time we decided not to give up all the advantages of a modern company, especially in regards to the possibilities given by the research in the fields of the sound, structure controls and metallurgic investigation.

In other words, instead of just copying some of the beautiful Ruckers harpsichords, we found that the great challenge could rather be copying the perfect Ruckers manufacturing structure, aiming at getting as close as possible to some of their results. What came out after many years of hard work would be too long to explain but can probably be summarized in our production numbers, which have grown rapidly from 12 to 70 harpsichords per year, entirely built by our artisans and sold in 48 different Countries.

In the first 15 years of activity BIZZI has made more than 900 instruments.

One of the reasons of this rapid growth certainly lies in the efficiency of our system, which offers high quality, competitive prices, together with good delivery times. We are convinced that these three conditions, normally necessary for any good business, were also the strong points of the Ruckers system, if we want to explain how they could produce more than one instrument per week, in a town with a population of 80.000, without forgetting that this was nearly four centuries ago!

We also would like to add that this type of small and flexible structures is rather typical in Italy, where we count thousands of the so-called family companies, based on the principle of subcontracting accessories parts to specialized makers and well known for their good efficiency.

Guido Bizzi

The founder, Guido Bizzi starts to get involved professionally with music during the years of the Politecnico in Turin when he founds the “Camerata Polofonica di Torino”. This was a vocal sextet which immediately received a lot of attention and important reviews thanks to the studies which were undergoing the public performances. The town of Turin had assigned the Camerata the prestigious location of the “Cappella dei Banchieri e Mercanti” and later even the Palazzo Madama, the first Italian Parliament, as the place for their concerts. Many musicologists, critics and scholars did attend the Camerata concerts and among the many of them Massimo Mila, for instance.

After moving to Milan, due to his incipient entrepreneurial career, he establishes a new ensemble, the “Studio di Musica Antica” who offers the public an innovative type of concerts based on medieval and renaissance music, using an incredible number of historical instruments of all types. In Milano he starts a long cooperation with the town, creating the “Scuola di Liuteria” of the town Milano.

In the 90’ he organizes the first complete restoration of a musical instruments collection in Italy at the Museo del Teatro alla Scala and later also at the Vivaldi collection of violins of the Museo Correr, in Venice. These experience calls to Milano over 30 specialists from all over Europe and becomes a milestone in his career for the study, restoration and reconstruction of musical instruments. The cooperation with his friend Grant o’Brien has also given an important contribution to the decision of entering the fascinating world of the manufacturing of historical keyboard replicas.

The mix of different specializations, as an engineer, musician and entrepreneur, have been of great help in front of the decision to start, in 1996, a regular and consistent production of instruments.

The approach to this new road has been totally different and innovative. In fact, the basic idea was not to copy one of more types of original harpsichords, but rather to design the whole manufacturing process in accordance with the tradition of the great masters of the past, like the Ruckers family and Stradivarius.The results of this new way have arrived in a short time and are proved by numbers. Today BIZZI has a leading position in this field of activity having added aside the harpsichords also the construction of Fortepianos and Clavichords and the restoration of original pianos.

In 2010, BIZZI has also founded the Accademia Europea Villa Bossi, a unique teaching system which attracts the best professors from all over Europe. The Accademia is a melting pot where different experiences and cultures mix and give extraordinary results. Our professors and students are in fact the equivalent of the best possible research and development department, as they support our manufacturing process with new ideas, controls and criticisms. A great privilege, indeed.

Among them, two names: Pierre Hantai for the harpsichords and Bart van Oort for the Fortepianos.

BIZZI activities are located in the prestigious historical building of Villa Bossi and are based on the typical Italian family-type management.

His wife Luisa and the two sons, Vittorio and Lorenzo perform an important role in the business.

Construction principles

Italy is a Country with extraordinary traditions in Art and Handicraft represented today by thousands of small firms highly specialised in their own fields. From among this intriguing milieu we have selected more than 30 handicraft firms and in many years of exciting work together, they have understood all our technical and artistic needs.

Therefore, from sand casting of bronze to hand carved legs or all various styles of decoration, we have managed to obtain extraordinary quality from people who are still handing down traditional techniques from one generation to another. By working according to these principles we can always acquire materials with the best natural seasoning and the highest possible quality workmanship.

Of course, the very manufacture of the harpsichord is always done in our workshop where we follow the principle of expertise: everyone of our harpsichord-makers works almost exclusively with the type of instrument he knows best.

This principle of expertise enhances the highest professional abilities of each person, representing also one of the pillars on which our future development prospects are based.

Quality / Price ratio

The ratio of quality to price undoubtedly accounts for our achievements and explains in part why more and more customers are choosing our instruments. Indeed, we can offer a quality suitable for the most demanding professionals at prices considerably less than those of the most qualified harpsichord makers.

This is the result of a Ruckers-type manufacturing system.

To all of those who are suspicious of prices which are apparently “too low”, we would ask to investigate the matter in detail.

For example, by making a simple visit to us and to other makers, in order to understand what the manufacture of a harpsichord involves and thus discover the various advantages a firm like ours can offer in terms of quality, good prices and delivery times.




… a personal advice?

In the fascinating world of the harpsichord, the choice of your own instrument is an important step but very often also a difficult one due to the variety and very different prices offered by the market. How can you find your way?

Since a harpsichord always reveal the background, the culture and the style of its maker, my first suggestion, for such an important decision, is not merely to investigate the catalogues, but try to understand what lies behind their beautiful pictures and get to know the people behind them and learn about their past history, way of working and future plans.

Try to see the advantages and disadvantages between small manufacturers, who offer sometimes only better prices, and well established companies which offer the guarantee deriving from a solid and continuous experience.

Remember that a chat, an e-mail or a phone call can reveal many things but don’t hesitate to take a trip, even a long one, to look with your eyes into this matter, in the deepest possible way.

As far as we are concerned, we have always found that a deep knowledge of our customers has been a determining factor of our growth and an important source of enrichment for both them and us.

Thus, we consider that understanding the needs of the harpsichord player is even more important than the sale itself.

Research and development

In 2011, BIZZI has created the Accademia Europea Villa Bossi who is giving an important contribution, not only thorough an innovative teaching system but also making a regular research work on our musical instruments which our professors and young artists play regularly for technical improvement.

In this way the Accademia has also become our research and development centre where we test new sounds, new materials as a result of the comparison with original pieces and even the use of new construction principles for instruments destined to Countries where the environmental conditions cannot be controlled.

Having at our disposal some of the most important artists of our times is a great privilege that we want to offer to all persons, including our competitors, who may be interested in the promotion of music, aiming at a general growth which will bring advantage to all of us.

Why BIZZI?

    Because Bizzi has re-introduced in harpsichord handcraft manufacturing the same historical construction principles which were used by the great masters of the past, and especially by the Ruckers family which, in the XVII century, was making more than one harpsichord per week
  • For the important contribution to our studies and researches given by the great musicians of our Accademia Europea Villa Bossi
  • Because this system combines high craftsmanship and modern management
  • For the style and good taste of many Italian artisans of great tradition that we have formed in many years of patient work
  • Because more and more often good harpsichordists and important institutions decide to purchase BIZZI instruments or use them in concert
  • For the best quality/price ratio in this market. For the good delivery times, the technical service and for all the attentions we are proud to offer to our clientelle.
  • Because the size of our craftsmen enterprise allows us to do the necessary investments for studies and research on sound and structure stability and all the other aspects of musical craftsmanship
  • Because we are the only maker who owns the technology for producing its own strings, the most sensitive part, the heart of the harpsichord and the fortepiano
  • Because our harpsichords are the result of a high technical and management background, combined with an interesting artistic career and a deep experience in restoration of museums.
  • And, why not, because our customers very often become also good friends...