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The pianos from Luis Verdugo e Hijo
The history of how the first grand piano from Ecuador came to be
Original text: Patricia Salvador, Pilar Cobo / Photos: P.Salvador, P.Rivera / Translation: Gaspo Sánchez
Tags: Ecuadorian Culture, Profiles, Interviews, Music, Arts.
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Page 1 of 3 │ May 15, 2011
The pianos from Luis Verdugo and son, the history of how the first grand piano from Ecuador came to be.

White, black, white, white, white, black ... those are the keys from a majestic piano from where the sweet sound comes from thanks to Luis Verdugo Rojas the performer. My admiration remains even when the song is finished, because this man not only plays the instrument, he along with his son were also the builders of this grand piano.


I already knew that somewhere deep inside Ecuador guitars, drums and marimbas were made, on one occasion I even met, in the Imbabura province, violin makers, but never imagined in my wildest dreams that a grand piano, could be made from scratch in this country, a grand piano from the "half the world". Luis Verdugo told us; "And why not? we are capable people with two hands and I did it" and adds, "This is what I do, is my job and I am proud to be the first piano technician of this country". Cuenca was the city that gave birth to this illustrious gentleman on November 12 of 1931. He came from a working family, his father was his first teacher a life guide and the first to expose young Luis to a world full of classical music. Luis Verdugo's father entertained him while restoring and maintaining the Harmoniums those were music instruments that were used in churches, chapels and convents of the city Cuenca at the beginning from the past century.


With the start of World War II the production of musical instruments was reduced, in order to produce guns and tanks in Europe, given that situation Luis's father began to make musical instruments, trying to meet the need of those years. "At that time, at my father's workshop I learned more than in any high school or college, that experience was certainly the university of my life" While we listen to Luis we can see the pride in his face, Luis adds: "That was my life then, I shared so much with my father!".

Daniel Verdugo Alvarez was Luis's father from whom he learned the trade, it was because of his father's love for the music that Luis had early contact with musical instruments, which today is part of his life. At age 18 Luis started his journey to be a great concert pianist, Luis emigrated from Cuenca to the capital of Ecuador, in Quito he was planning to enter the National Conservatory of Music.

"When I introduced myself at the auditions they told me they did not wanted me around, not even among the attendee, I was heartbroken what a shame, from that day I lost my desire to be a great pianist... who knows, that path may have lead me to many places quiet possible away from my country, which I love so much, but thanks to being rejected the country won a piano maker something they never imagined and less dreamed about a luthier from Ecuador that was impossible at the time." Mr.Verdugo told us that thanks to his profession he has been a happy man and lived well, not like a millionaire, but has brought bread to home with dignity, early in his life he knew how to be unique and authentic, "I have been what I wanted to be... a piano technician, that's how I called myself a piano technician" He told us while watching old framed pictures on top of a big table.

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