Nicholas Ioannou

nmarti31
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:09 am

Nicholas Ioannou

Post by nmarti31 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:30 pm

Can anyone give me some info on Nicholas Ioannou and his guitars? I've been scouring the internet trying to find something about him to no avail. Any help??

waikuentsui
Posts: 807
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:23 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by waikuentsui » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:19 pm

nmarti31 wrote:Can anyone give me some info on Nicholas Ioannou and his guitars? I've been scouring the internet trying to find something about him to no avail. Any help??
I think Nicholas Ioannou is of Greek origin.
There was an article on interview of him by Greek music magazine TAR.
See article:
http://www.tar.gr/content/content.php?id=164
It was in Greek, but there was an English translation option.
The translation was a bit wonky, but you will get the idea.

I think Richard Savage of Savage Classical Guitar has one of Nicholas' guitar for sales.
Perhaps it is still available.
You can do a search on any search engine.

AlexScott

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by AlexScott » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:09 pm

Hi.

I met Nicholas many years ago (1993?) when I was in college, and when I bought my guitar from him. My teacher, Terry Champlin, brought me to Nicholas' house for a long and fascinating afternoon that stretched into evening and dinner. I'd already heard almost an infinite amount of stories about Nicholas from Terry - they were very good friends - and I just sat there with my ears wide open. Nicholas is Greek, and one of the most interesting people I've ever met. He's the luthier they called in to work on Segovia's guitars when those guitars came to America. He's a polymath and he makes damn good coffee.

brian
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:18 pm
Location: right here

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by brian » Mon May 01, 2017 7:16 pm

i had one in the early 90's.
at that time, my guitar teacher, Jerry Willard
had already been using an Ioannou for a while. still does for concerts I believe.
excellent quality of everything. i miss
that guitar.
if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
-w.c. fields

Carey
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:19 pm
Location: Central California Coast

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by Carey » Tue May 02, 2017 12:56 am

When I was first listening to Antonis Hatzinikolaou's very fine 'Music of Memory' CD from 2012 or so, I was struck right away by the excellent sounding instrument, enough that I contacted him to find out what he was playing on.
He kindly told me that it was an N. Ioannou spruce guitar, J46 strings.

Peter Corey
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:48 am
Location: New York City

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by Peter Corey » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:15 am

Nicholas Ioannou was a teacher of mathematics at a preparatory school in Brooklyn, NY called Adelphi Academy, and lived for a time with his wife Vera, and son (whose name I've forgotten) in upstate New York near Woodstock. I remember that he heated his home in winter with an old-fashioned wood-burning stove that radiated immense amounts of heat.

I remember well his visits to the original "gang" at the American Institute of Guitar (AIG) on West 55th Street in New York City. The school had been started by some students of Leonid Bolotine's (founder and chairman of the guitar department at Mannes College of Music), the original intention of the school being exclusively to teach classical guitar. A number of Bolotine's students — including me — would sit in the front room of AIG and practice, perform, or otherwise "advertise" the teaching services provided by the school. AIG eventually branched out into teaching popular music but I believe it was committed mainly to classical guitar instruction up until the time Bolotine died in 1987. The school eventually moved from its original location at 204 West 55th Street — formerly residential apartments attached to the old Woodward Hotel — to somewhere farther west, I believe on 54th Street, and was eventually sold by the last of the three founders. The first location at 55th Street had been a doctor's office years earlier; the front room being the waiting area, and the examination rooms in back morphing into the AIG's lesson rooms.

Nicholas would come into AIG, show us his latest guitar, light his pipe, and sit down to listen as we played it and offered up comments. I remember that his early instruments were meticulously constructed though plain in sound, at least according to my ear. At the time, I was playing on an outstanding Friedrich, a step up from a pretty good Velasquez I had owned for several years. One day, however, he comes in with an instrument he had just finished and it frankly blew everyone away. I can still see the knowing smirk Nick had on his face as we listened in astonishment to a guitar whose treble sounded like a viola and whose bass sounded like a cello. I remember, too, that in various discussions he and I occasionally had on subjects other than music, he confided to me that he had started looking over (and, I suppose, applying) Greek ideas on mathematics from antiquity, e.g., the "golden ratio." Whatever it was he was doing, Nicholas Ioannou had become "Master Luthier Ioannou", and he continued constructing extremely fine instruments after that.

I eventually owned that instrument and performed often on it, including a recital at Hellman Hall, San Francisco Conservatory, back in 1978 or 1979; then foolishly selling both it and the Friedrich a few years later. Through Noah Wulfe on 57th Street, I eventually bought and performed on a decent (though not outstanding) Fleta, which I believe I sold back to him sometime later. A friend, colleague, and former pupil of Bolotine's (and one of the founder's of the AIG) gave me his own Ioannou guitar as a "long-term loan", which I still have.

Maestro Ioannou traveled back and forth from New York to Greece several times though as time passed, we eventually lost touch.

— Peter Corey

User avatar
George Crocket
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9453
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:48 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by George Crocket » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:18 am

Hi Peter. Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the interesting contribution.

We ask new members to introduce themselves here. :discussion:
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

Jack Douglas
Posts: 1355
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:37 am
Location: Ashland, Va

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by Jack Douglas » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:18 pm

Hi Peter,
After reading your very interesting introduction on another post and listening to the pieces you included in the post I was intrigued that you played a Nicholas loannou, a maker I had never heard of! In your Bach Suite in E his guitar sounded (and your playing) like Velvet. However, I do belong to the ‘former owner of a Velazquez club’, but have never gotten to the front entrance of the Frederich or Fleta Club. And you sold them!!!!
Now that you’re returning from your intriguing spiral and redeveloping your relationship with the guitar again, I’m sure you’re discovering there are an amazing number of choices. So, would you care to share the name of your current instrument!
Again, thanks for sharing your music in your introduction post and enlightening us about Nicolás loannou!
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

Peter Corey
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:48 am
Location: New York City

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by Peter Corey » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:17 am

Jack Douglas wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:18 pm
Hi Peter,
After reading your very interesting introduction on another post and listening to the pieces you included in the post I was intrigued that you played a Nicholas loannou, a maker I had never heard of! In your Bach Suite in E his guitar sounded (and your playing) like Velvet. However, I do belong to the ‘former owner of a Velazquez club’, but have never gotten to the front entrance of the Frederich or Fleta Club. And you sold them!!!!
Now that you’re returning from your intriguing spiral and redeveloping your relationship with the guitar again, I’m sure you’re discovering there are an amazing number of choices. So, would you care to share the name of your current instrument!
Again, thanks for sharing your music in your introduction post and enlightening us about Nicolás loannou!
Hi, Jack,

Thanks for the kind words!

Yes, the instrument on which I played that Bach suite was, indeed, a Ioannou (though not the original one I had owned several years earlier). I still have that instrument — just opened the case after not having played since 1990 — and it's still in good shape except for the original ivory nut, which has cracked. The instrument is Brazilian rosewood and cedar top

As I mentioned in another post, prior to playing on Ioannou's guitars, I played a powerful (if somewhat dry sounding) Fleta (rosewood/cedar); before that, an outstanding Friedrich (rosewood/cedar); before that, a Velasquez (rosewood/spruce); and long before that, I played a mahogany/spruce instrument constructed by Manouk Papazian.

You're right about there being many choices today, more than I remember in 1970s-1980s. A colleague of mine at the American Institute of Guitar played an instrument made by Thomas Humphrey (who came by the AIG many times, so we all knew him); one block away on 56th Street, there was the guitar shop owned by Juan Orozco (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Orozco), who displayed many instruments by Ramirez, Kohno, Manzanero, Hauser, et al. I played a Kohno for a while but always felt it was metallic in sound; and I was never impressed enough with Ramirez to take the plunge and buy one: to me, Ramirez guitars had volume but sounded very "generic", without any individual character . . . then again, perhaps that was just my playing! Conversely, the instruments by the French craftsman, Daniel Friedrich, and the Greek master, Nicholas Ioannou, were unique, successfully combining a rounded tone with powerful projection.

Alas, I have no further information on Ioannou — his whereabouts or his instruments— as we lost touch by around 1988. As I mentioned in another post, he used to teach mathematics at a private prep school in Brooklyn, NY called "Adelphi Academy", so he might have a ".edu" email account with them. You might also try emailing Beverly Maher at The Guitar Salon in New York City. Her website is here:

http://www.theguitarsalon.com/inventory.html

I don't see any Ioannou instruments listed but she is now one of the major sellers of fine classical guitars, so she might have dealt with Nicholas in the past or she might know something about his present contact information. Good luck!

— Peter

Jack Douglas
Posts: 1355
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:37 am
Location: Ashland, Va

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by Jack Douglas » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:20 pm

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the information about loannou and posting some of your recordings.
Beverly Maher, lovely person I’ve known for 10-12 years, source of the Velazquez I owned.
I was recently at a guitar ‘shout out’ fest and heard some remarkable traditional braced guitars along with more modern double tops. Ross Gutmeier, Glenn Canin, Jeffrey Elliott, Andrea Tacchi, Enrico Bottelli, Tony Mueller, Hauser III (mine) were among the line-up. They all sounded wonderful for different reasons. The Glenn Canin was to my ear the best of the double top world. Check out some recordings by Charles Mokotoff Playing his Canin! Gutmeier’s Santos model is sublime. Personally, I prefer the traditional instruments as I like the old world tones and volume is not the primary concern.
I’m hoping to get the all clear to resume playing at the end of January. Rotator cuff tear and surgery!
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

Peter Corey
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:48 am
Location: New York City

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by Peter Corey » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:33 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:20 pm
Hi Peter,
Thanks for the information about loannou and posting some of your recordings.
Beverly Maher, lovely person I’ve known for 10-12 years, source of the Velazquez I owned.
I was recently at a guitar ‘shout out’ fest and heard some remarkable traditional braced guitars along with more modern double tops. Ross Gutmeier, Glenn Canin, Jeffrey Elliott, Andrea Tacchi, Enrico Bottelli, Tony Mueller, Hauser III (mine) were among the line-up. They all sounded wonderful for different reasons. The Glenn Canin was to my ear the best of the double top world. Check out some recordings by Charles Mokotoff Playing his Canin! Gutmeier’s Santos model is sublime. Personally, I prefer the traditional instruments as I like the old world tones and volume is not the primary concern.
I’m hoping to get the all clear to resume playing at the end of January. Rotator cuff tear and surgery!

https://nuwber.com/person/563a9050cf00835c7fd4aab7
Nicholas Ioannou
24 Yankee Lake Road
Wurtsboro, NY 12790
(845) 888-5130

This online databank appears to be correct from what I can remember: about 79 years old, wife Vera, son Demetri.

Unless this is very old information, it's probably good so you might try contacting him there.

Sorry to hear about the rotator cuff, but glad you're on the mend.

Best,
Peter

adunn
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 7:34 pm
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by adunn » Sat May 12, 2018 11:47 pm

I have a Canin and four of my students have them as well. I was just done in Mill Valley, CA visiting him. I've had a Dammann, Antonius Muellers, and other fine double tops. I am extremely happy with my Canin.

glenncanin
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 11:55 pm

Re: Nicholas Ioannou

Post by glenncanin » Sun May 13, 2018 12:10 am

Hi all. I just joined and was happy to see one of my guitars mentioned here. Do you know whose guitar it was?

Return to “Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar”