Mario Gadda was the son of master maker Gaetano Gadda. He was born in Mantua in 1931 and began training as a luthier with his father at the age of 16. Gadda helped carry the Mantuan tradition of violin making into the 21st century. Many of his instruments were inspired by Tommaso Balestrieri and his father’s teacher Stefano Scarampella, the luthiers responsible for the Mantuan tradition.
Gadda made more than 500 instruments during his lifetime. He became well known internationally, selling his instruments to players and orchestras across Europe, Asia, and America. Gadda also exhibited his work at many competitions all over the world. Gadda trained only one student during his life time – Claudio Testoni.