Tony Acosta of Luthier Music

Tony Acosta of Luthier Music. Photo credit: Julia Crowe.

My condolences go to Tony Acosta’s friends and family. He was the proprietor of one of the last great storefronts for classical and flamenco guitar in New York City, who managed his longtime storefront on 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues before he relocated to a spacious and modern upper floor atelier on 24th Street in Chelsea.

In his new location, he’d dispensed with selling sheet music and CDs in favor of expanding his classical and flamenco guitar offerings, guitar repair and on-site string manufacturing of his Luthier label strings, used famously by guitar legends Paco de Lucía and Jorge Morel. And Tony was so much happier for it! (No more Birdland patrons staggering into his storefront and manhandling the fragile guitars.)

His wry humor will be fondly remembered from so many occasions, especially at gatherings at composer Jorge Morel’s apartment. Morel would cook his special chicken and rice dinners for us at his small kitchen table, recount various guitar tales and then everyone adjourned to Morel’s living room to play music. There was also a time when Tony shooed customers out of a guitar practice room to allow me to interview Carlos Barbosa-Lima at his old shop. Tony fostered the guitar community in the city with his enthusiasm and generosity, and his shop served as an active hub and scene for anyone who was dedicated to the art of Spanish flamenco and classical guitar. He will be greatly missed. In his memory, I am posting this link to the May 2007 column I wrote for Classical Guitar Magazine, UK on his old Midtown shop.

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