Best Luthier: A craftsman dedicated to his muse

Randy Angella

Randy Angella doesn’t just build classical guitars; he lives them. For 35 years, he’s been handcrafting guitars in the East Bay. Today, from an unassuming garage studio in his modest Concord home, he makes some of the world’s finest classical instruments. Angella grew up in Lafayette and studied guitar for three years in San Francisco before launching his career as a luthier in 1975. Over the years he’s dabbled in a variety of disciplines without straying from his base, and has become such an expert in the field that, together with Professor Corey Whitehead of Fresno State University, he’s developed a unified theory that explains for the first time exactly why certain materials, construction techniques, and notes produce the sounds they do. Angella builds guitars for some of the world’s leading performers and instructors, and this July one of his instruments will be showcased at a flamenco festival in Cordoba, Spain, the birthplace of classical guitar. “Patience is a virtue,” he says. And he means it.


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