Luthier Felipe Conde Jr. or (Felipe Conde Crespo) of the great Conde house visited with me back in May of 2016. Enormously gratifying, Felipe is a talented 6th generation luthier from the Great Spanish house of Conde Hermanos. His guitars display this depth of generational knowledge. He is supremely talented, very humble, and simply, a very nice young man.
The Conde dynasty was founded by Domingo Esteso (1882-1937), who established his own shop in 1915. Esteso in turn trained his nephews Faustino and Mariano Conde Sr. and later, Julio Conde was trained in his brothers’ workshop. The three brothers Conde continued to work for Esteso’s widow until her death in 1960 and then took over their uncle’s shop, calling themselves “Hermanos Conde Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso”.
Famous guitarists such as Manolo de Huelva, Nino Ricardo, Melchor de Marchena, Sabicas, Mario Escudero, Esteban de Sanlucar, Regino Sainz de la Maza, and Paco de Lucia have all played with the reputed Conde Hermanos workmanship.
Soon they got a great reputation of their own building guitars for the great quality of the materials, the excellent handwork and manufacturing technique which gives the best concert sound to these instruments and the guitars began to be used by famous guitarists such as: Nino Ricardo, Melchor de Marchena, Manolo de Huelva, Mario Escudero, Sabicas, Regino Sainz de la Maza, Paco de Lucia…
Mariano Sr. later established his own shop close to the Royal Theatre, calling it “Conde Hermanos Sucesores Sobrinos de Esteso” at Calle Felipe V, 2 in Madrid. His two sons, (Felipe, born in 1957 and Mariano Jr., born 1959) began their apprenticeship with their father and uncle Faustino when they were about 15 y.o. Faustino died in 1988 and Mariano Sr. in 1989.
The shop is now run by Felipe and Mariano Jr. who continue building guitars in the great Esteso-Conde tradition. Felipe Conde Jr. entered the 4 Arrieta St. workshop in the summer of 2012 as an apprentice and has since constructed several guitars under the instruction and guidance of his teacher and father Felipe Conde.
Felipe started out by constructing two concert guitars, one with the back and sides in cypress and the other in Indian rosewood. Felipe has since constructed several other guitars combining this work with his university studies.
The official presentation of Felipe’s first guitars took place at the Frankfurt Music fair in the spring of 2013. Many artists and our clients had the opportunity to try these guitars out and the reception was excellent.
Felipe Conde Jr. represents the fourth generation or luthiers in this house continuing the family tradition.