Accordions Worldwide "Know The People" interview of Marconi Bellows / Mantici per fisarmoniche
Marconi Bellows
Giorgio Marconi (Owner)
Lorella Marconi (Owner)
Editor:  Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Q: Giorgio – we see a picture here on the wall – which seems to be your father! Did he start the Marconi Bellows production?

A: No – actually it was my grandfather, Antonio Marconi who started bellows manufacture! We were originally from Recanati – which is the city next to Castelfidardo. My family at that time were had land properties (as was nearly everybody in this area) and my family was living next to the family of Paolo Soprani. So they knew each other from the time they were children.

Q: Did your grandfather Antonio Marconi work for Paolo Soprani rather than in his own company?

A: Yes – My grandfather started his artisan work with Paolo Soprani where he specialised in producing bellows. Quite soon, he decided to start his own business to produce accordion bellows for Paolo Soprani. This was just before the 1st World War in 1913!

Q: Your father then had the same experience as YOU had…. he took over, as second generation family, an already well running business from his father?

A: Actually – my father Fernando Marconi wanted to try to get experience outside of the country and emigrated at the age of 18 to Argentina. But soon he felt, that it was his homland, where he wanted to live for his life. Started to collaborate with his father in producing bellows for accordions. He got married here in Castelfidardo and I was born in 1962.

Q: Do you still remember your grandfather?
A: Yes, of course – very well – he only died in 1985! And as it happens, so many times – I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. I remember so many work and personal things, such as he was in his 80's and still reading without glasses.
Or –
During past times, that work had first place in all our lives and in our neighbourhood (which was close to the river Mussone) one would say: we have to get started, Marconi is already at work. Which meant…. time also for others to start! That was in our days – nothing like this happens any longer!

Q: Giorgio – so you became acquainted with the bellows production from the time you were a little boy – is this correct?

A: Yes – at that time it was very very common, that one would live in the house on the first floor. On the ground floor was the artisan laboratory, where people would work – with our production, mainly for the big manufacturer Paolo Soprani.

This meant, for me and my sister – that we were continuously involved on the „ground floor“ where all the work was happening.  Both, my sister and I, from a very early age, were doing little jobs helping and learning.

Q: So you have started learning as a child within the manufacturing area of your father and grandfathers bellows business. As you grew older, were you thinking to continue your grandfathers and fathers work?

A: No – actually, I had started a technical study and my father had insisted, that I took up a degree. But as time had gone on, I felt more and more, that a degree was not, what I really wanted to do!

After long and endless discussions with my father, I had made up my mind: I wanted to become an accordion bellows producer. I gave up my studies to be entirely incorporated in my fathers business. Later of course – I regretted this, as the studies of metal-mechanics would have been very useful in the purchase and use of machines, that we were then using for bellows production.

Q: When did you officially take over the company together with your sister Lorella?
A: My sister went initially to a music school,  and just like me – she stopped before finishing, instead working and growing steadily into the company,  learning firstly all parts of the production, and then later, the administration of the company.

My parents wanted me to take up a commercial study, but I really loved the artisan work and that is why I started at a very early age, 14 years – to be part of the working process.

The first job I learned to do was placing the internal lining into the folds of the bellows. My development in the company took some years and my father was present in the company until the age of 79 years….

Q: Finally you decided to move your production from your family home to a factory building…. was that here where you are located today?

A: In 1992 we decided to make this important step, to place the production into a new structure employing several ladies. In this way, we could guarantee a more efficient working condition for our workers and keep up with all demands of quantities and a perfect quality production.

Q: What are the greatest memories that you have thinking of all the work made by your father?
A: Our father was always interested in making a production process improvement. I do not remember my father being at home on a Saturday and many times on Sundays! He spent all his lifetime in the factory trying new things in order to have a faster and better, more efficient way of producing excellent bellows.

Q: So now, there is the 4th generation of Marconi …..your son: Do you think, he wants to take over the Marconi Accordion Bellows production?

A: Well – one never knows….. and at this moment, he will start his first year at the university studying PHYSICS.

Q: Over the years of your work, do you see any changes in your production?
A: Yes of course – production has changed a lot. Whereas before we would produce many quantities of the same line, today, our production is focused on high-quality production in limited edition.

Also the relationship between the companies that ordered « custom-made » for their production has slightly changed from « patron » to collaborator.  This has been a big change for me personally – being a partner!

Q: Many hours of working and running a factory also needs some time for relaxing  - what do you do for compensating stress?
A: Giorgio: Me – I am playing tennis. This really helps me – it stresses my mind and body, but in relaxing way.
Lorella: I enjoy less stressful exercise; - but I also prefer to make my body move – in a more harmonious way: I do walking and gym.

Q : When you go to assist at accordion events and you see famous players with Marconi Bellows – what do you feel?

A : Emotion – great emotion! Obviously, we cannot realize from a distance, if it is our bellows – only if it has certain design/decoration! If it is a plain bellows, I must see it a bit closer, and then, of course, I can realize immediately, if it was produced in the Marconi Bellows Factory or not!

But as we are working with many big accordion producers in Castelfidardo, we know, when important players are performing, that it is OUR Bellows – the Marconi Accordion Bellow manufacture.

Imagine, whenever I hear for instance an accordion performing on TV – I immediately go to listen and see – the accordion brand – trying to check if it is a bellows of our production…. and yes – if I can understand – it makes me very very proud, producing a very important part of this beloved instrument!

Q: As we understand – both of your sisters do actually « work » in the production of accordion bellows and both of you know each part of the entire production, which for sure, is a very important input for your workers.

We understand that Giorgio is also handling most of the clients and Lorella orders materials as well as doing the administration. You are a compact team, right from the beginning of your working period in MARCONI BELLOWS! We wish you good luck for the future

A: We thank Accordions Worldwide for giving us the possibility to let many of the accordion players, many of whom are using Marconi Bellows, know a little bit of our family and manufacturing history. Thank you!

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