There are very few names that consistently top the list of archtop luthiers, but John Monteleone habitually makes the cut. His instruments are breathtaking and awe-inspiring. John was born in Manhattan in 1947 to a family of craftsmen that traces their roots to Palermo. Monteleone’s father was a skilled artist and sculptor. John also learned woodworking from his father as well as the ability to understand a variety of materials and designs.
As did so many of his present-day peers John’s introduction to lutherie was through the repair and restoration of vintage high quality archtops and his early instruments reflected those experiences. Although influenced by the great luthiers of the day, he responded to the need for a better and more advanced approach to designing the sound, look and feel of his archtops. His designs are at the pinnacle of archtop lutherie. John has introduced many innovations, both acoustic and aesthetic. His work continues to evolve, expanding the boundaries of archtop instrument making.
Recently, his instruments were showcased along with those of John D’Angelico and James D’Aquisto as part of the “Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.