Riccardo Genovese was born on June 22, 1883 in Montiglio in the Asti region of Italy. As a youth, he was a talented organist, pianist, and violinist, and performed in various venues. He began studying the art of violin-making in 1920 under maker Annibale Fagnola. Genovese began producing quality instruments by 1925. To create his instruments, he relied heavily on the Pressenda model which was also used by Fagnola. Between 1927 and 1928, he moved first to Pescarenico near Lecco and then later to Lecco’s town center, Via Ghislanzoni. There he made and sold his instruments before moving back to his hometown of Montiglio in 1929. Genovese passed away from tuberculosis on July 27th, 1935.
Genovese’s work is appreciated for the genuine Piedmont style of his instruments. His style included unique workings of the scrolls and the cutting of the f-holes. Depending on where he lived, Genovese used a few different labels. His varnish was usually red with a variance in transparency and intensity, often showing a light ‘craquelé’. Following Fagnola’s practice, he also included a small handwritten note on the inside upper rib of the instrument. Riccardo Genovese’s work is appreciated around the world, as he was able to sell his instruments globally.