Michael Dunn

Michael (Peter) Dunn. String instrument builder, guitarist, b Sherbrooke, Que, 7 Mar 1943. Dunn was educated in Sherbrooke and began to play the guitar at 11.

Dunn, Michael

Michael (Peter) Dunn. String instrument builder, guitarist, b Sherbrooke, Que, 7 Mar 1943. Dunn was educated in Sherbrooke and began to play the guitar at 11. He worked for a time at a variety of jobs in the Windsor Mills, Que, area and then turned to repairing guitars for George Bowden in Vancouver in 1965; he spent 1966-7 in Bowden's workshop in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, apprenticing with Jose Orti and Jose Ferrer. He returned to Vancouver and practised his craft in several shops, for a time sharing working quarters with Ray Nurse, who taught him to build lutes. In 1972 he worked with Edward R. Turner, constructing harpsichords for the Vancouver Society for Early Music, and in 1974 was awarded a Canada Council grant to build a replica of a 17th century archlute for the instrument makers exhibition in Burnaby, BC. In 1974 he was artist-in-residence at the British Columbia Pavilion at the World's Fair in Spokane, Wash, and in 1976 was one of British Columbia's representative craftsmen at 'Artisimage' at the Montreal Olympic Games. In 1973 Dunn had moved to Gibsons, BC, where he constructed guitars, lutes, and other stringed instruments; he returned to Vancouver in 1978. Over the years he has also played in a variety of bands. In 1983 he joined the faculty of Douglas College (New Westminster, BC), where he has designed and taught the musical instrument construction program (focusing largely on guitars). Dunn's expertise as a luthier is widely recognized; a replica of a baroque guitar (built jointly with Ray Nurse) was purchased by the National Museum (Canadian Museum of Civilization) in 1974, as was another (built solely by Dunn) in 1975. Since the late-1970s, he has concentrated on building reproductions of the Maccaferri guitar, which became a standard jazz instrument in Europe in the 1930s. His work is the result of fascination with the instrument and of considerable research, and another of his reproductions has been commissioned for an exhibition in 1992 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. His output to 1991 includes over 240 instruments, among which are some 30 lutes.