Peter Oberg began studying the classical guitar at age 11, after having played the piano since he was 5 years old. He has continued his studies on and off since then, and has also studied music theory, jazz, and composition. After careers in boat building and furniture making, and a five-year period training and working as a piano tuner-technician, Mr. Oberg decided to combine his long-time love for the classical guitar and his 15 years of fine woodworking experience.
He built his first guitar in Canada with David Freeman, and then served two consecutive apprenticeships after returning to California. The first was a one-year arrangement with Berkeley luthier Ervin Somogyi. Ervin is a consummate artist and luthier with a worldwide reputation, and a dry and clever wit that was not wasted on his humble apprentice. His aesthetic sensibilities and innovative approach to guitar making were a strong influence on Mr. Oberg.
After this Peter and his wife moved to Washington State where he spent almost two years working full-time in the workshop of Robert Ruck. Together they built about 65 guitars, during which time Mr. Oberg was forced to raise his woodworking skills to another level. Mr. Ruck has built over 900 instruments, and performing artists play his guitars all over the world. Mr. Oberg was able to study instruments from the great luthiers of the past and present while working with Robert, and to date is the only person to have worked with Mr. Ruck on a full-time basis for an extended period of time. He owes a special gratitude to Robert, who changed his concept of the potential of the classical guitar, and shared generously of his knowledge and experience.
Peter works in a one-man shop in San Diego, California, building guitars one or two at a time from materials culled over a period of many years. He is an active member of the Guild of American Luthiers and the Guitar Foundation of America, and has exhibited his instruments at the annual GFA convention, the Healdsburg Guitar Festival, and the La Guitarra Festival in San Luis Obispo, California. His accomplished woodworking skills and keen sense of musicality, tone color, and acoustical properties have created a growing demand for his guitars in the United States, Canada, and in Europe.
Quoting Peter, “Building fine classical guitars is an extremely challenging and rewarding occupation. From the onset of a project I envision the final product, the sound it will make when first strung up, and the potential of the sound as the guitar breaks in. Even with the confidence that the guitar will sound as I have intended there is always a moment of trepidation, of brief anxiety before the first note is sounded. It always seems a remarkable thing that the instrument can sing, can become a voice for the player to express the depth of their ideas and consciousness. It is continually encouraging to know that I am creating something that will add beauty to the world.
Notes played on a fine guitar have a life of their own, as they radiate out falling on peoples’ ears and moving their emotions, but when and where does the energy of those notes stop? I believe there is an engaging philosophical discussion to be had surrounding this concept, but I’ll leave that until such time as we meet, and have the opportunity to discuss the beauty and esoteric nature of music.
As a musician, composer, woodworker, and inquiring mind, I find building classical guitars to be the most engaging endeavor of my life. It is equal parts demanding and rewarding. It is a marvelous thing to see various bits and pieces of wood transform into a musical instrument. I hope you’ll consider working with me to build a guitar that will allow you to reach your highest musical aspirations.”
- extracted from Peter’s site.
I am so looking forward to having Peter’s work here in the gallery. His guitar is exquisite, powerful, clear voiced and a driver of your music. I am thoroughly enjoying my time with #132, looking forward to more of his work in the coming years.
Please see our selection of Oberg guitars here