Maestro Richard Schneider
Thomas Beltran developed much of his expertise from this great guitar builder!
Maestro Schneider’s approach to guitar building was not limited to the Kasha Model. Instead, it can be applied to any instrument. He was very open and generous with his time. For example, Maestro Schneider allowed his students to look over his considerable collection of notes and drawings, and to copy anything desired. He maintained a sense of excitement throughout his life, and imparted that to everyone he knew. Maestro Schneider’s sense of craftsmanship, color and design was unparalleled. He will surely be missed.
Maestro Schneider grew up in Ferndale, Michigan. He served in the military, and held various drafting jobs before and after his military service. He attended Northwestern College in Minneapolis and later Macalester College. In 1963, he went to Mexico City to study guitar building, and studied with Juan Pimental. He returned to the U.S. in 1965, and opened his own guitar studio. He served as a consultant to Baldwin Piano and Organ Company, and then Gibson Guitars in Kalamazoo, MI. He collaborated with Dr. Michael Kasha throughout his life, beginning in the late 1960’s. He also made wooden jewelry (about 800 pieces), including the beautiful “polychromatic helical mosaic bracelet.”
Thomas Beltran first met Maestro Schneider, while attended the Kasha Design Seminar, which ran from July 23, 1983, through August 21, 1983 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and continued to have frequent contact with him until the time of his death.
This photograph was taken on July 29th, 1983 when Richard was interviewed by Della DiTietro, of WKZO-TV, Accent Program.