Michihiro Matsuda came to America in 1997 to fulfill his dream of becoming a guitar builder. He enrolled in the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, where he made such rapid progress that at the end of the course he was chosen to apprentice with the respected builder Ervin Somogyi, the only student in his class that year to achieve that honor. Matsuda further refined his craft studying with the innovative luthier, Taku Sakashta.
He also studied guitar restoration with the well-known instrument repairman Frank Ford, the co-owner of Gryphon Stringed Instruments. Matsuda spent about three years in Somogyi’s shop honing the guitar making skills he learned at Sakashta’s shop and at the Roberto-Venn School. He credits Somogyi, Sakashta, and Ford with helping him understand the structural complexities involved in hand building acoustic guitars. Matsuda is especially thankful to Somogyi for showing him the meaning of craftsmanship, and most importantly, teaching him the subtle art of making wood sing.
In 2002, Matsuda opened his own workshop where he uses traditional woodworking skills to craft guitars with an innovative sense of design. He draws his inspiration from nature, and he strives to make the peghead, body, bridge, and cutaways shapes harmonize in an organic way. But Matsuda is not just making guitars to appeal to the eye. He realizes that guitars are first and foremost tools to play music, and so he devotes as much time to the tone and playability of his instruments as he does to their appearance.
Michihiro Matsuda was drawn to guitar making by his love of music and he hopes that his instruments will inspire guitarists to greater creative heights.