Stephen Hill, born in London in 1967, is one of Europe’s leading contemporary classical and flamenco guitar makers. A guitar luthier for more than thirty years, Stephen has developed his own style of making to suit the modern and traditional player alike. His guitars are characterised by their power, sensitivity and ease of playability and are the choice of many top guitarists such as Paco Seco, Declan Zapala, Gary Ryan, Manus Noble and John Feeley.
Stephen’s rather unique career as an instrument maker really started from the age of eight when he started to play the classical guitar during a time living in London. After taking a short cabinet making apprenticeship at the age of 16, he returned to his guitar playing studies and following a moment of realisation decided to change direction in life. And then began the long journey to develop his skills and knowledge as a guitar maker.
Arriving in Spain in 1988 he toured the south with his self-built flamenco guitar, his tools and guitar making timbers. He also visited many workshops to gather the deep inspiration and insight he needed to further his work. Since 2004 he has been producing guitars from his
workshop in La Herradura. Stephen, even as a foreigner, is accepted as one of more than thirty full-time makers featuring in the book “La Escuela Granadina de Guitarreros”, which was published in 2014.
As part of the continuing development of this cultural heritage, Stephen founded and now directs the European Institute of Guitar Making. Teaching one-month long, intensive master-level building courses to students from around the world, the Institute is considered to be one of the top guitar building schools in the world.
Stephen’s workshop is in the heart of the village. He feels that La Herradura has been good to him. Apart from being the base for his workshop, he also remarried here and became a father again, to a lovely little girl. He and his wife Marjolein now raise four children between them. He feels that he is fulfilling his life’s destiny and that is something that he would like to inspire others to do as well.
If you would like to find out more about Stephen’s personal story – his love for his work and music (in particular flamenco music), the type of wood he uses, etc. you can read all about it in ‘Reflections from La Herradura’.
Gary Ryan plays on Stephen Hill guitars in video below