Fernando Gonzalez Solar cello, Madrid 1970
One of the most important Spanish luthiers of the 20th century, Fernando Gonzalez Solar (also known as Fernando Solar González) was born in 1922 in Oviedo, Spain and died in Madrid in 2011. He apprenticed in guitar making with Santos Hernández in Madrid from 1942 to 1944, then established his own workshop, where he turned to violin and bow making. He is renowned for his copy of Stradivari's famous decorated quartet, the "King of Spain" set of inlaid instruments made between 1696 and 1709, and housed in the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Solar's sons Fernando and Mercedes Solar also became luthiers, taking over the business after their father's retirement. Today, Solar's grandson Fernando Solar continues the family business, where he also participates in The Music of Recycling, a social project inspired by the Orchestra of Recycled Instruments of Cateura, by teaching underprivileged children of Madrid how to build orchestral instruments out of recycled items.