Heir to three generations of Roman master craftsmen, Marco De Lellis learned the crafts of fine antique furniture and keyboard instrument restoration in several prestigious workshops, including the atelier of his grandfather Gaspare Tancredi.
Prior to his extensive apprenticeship, he devoted himself to visual and musical arts, including painting and sculpture. He received his diploma in fine arts from the prestigious Liceo Artistico in Ripetti, studying piano, organ, violin, French horn, composition, Gregorian chant and lyric baritone.
At the age of 16 he became the chief organist and choir director in the Basilica St. Cecilia in Rome. He later became a member of the National Academy of St. Cecilia Choir, the choir of the Liberian Chapel in the Basilica of St. Maria
Maggiore, the vocal group Ottetto Vocale Romano, and performed on the piano and French horn in numerous musical groups. After completing his studies, Mr. De Lellis began his apprenticeship in the third-generation workshop of his grandfather, Gaspare Tancredi, and his uncle Severino Lattanzi.
He learned the arts of Italian and French polishing and furniture reproduction at the Antonio Ticconi workshop, which maintains the Quirinale, home to many of Italy's kings, and today the residence of the Italian President. He learned woodworking, intarsia and marquetry at the "RR&C" of Pietro G. in Rome; with him he worked on the restoration of the important collection at the Prince Colonna Residence. He also worked as a gilder at the atelier "Arte & Memoria" under the supervision of Fiorella Di Giammarco, from the Institute of Restoration of Rome; and as a wood decorator with Roberto DiCastro in the restoration of a number of churches in central Italy.
Subsequent to his apprenticeship, Mr. De Lellis began to work on the restoration of several private collections of furniture, and collaborated with members of the Italian Institute of Conservation and Restoration of Rome on important restoration projects.
While continuing his work in furniture restoration, Mr. De Lellis began his apprenticeship in the restoration of keyboard instruments, not only pianos, but also fortepianos, harpsichords, clavichords, harmoniums. He supplemented his studies with extensive library research on the provenance and restoration of antique musical instruments and furniture. Eventually he graduated from an apprentice position to become a certified master restorer himself.
After several years of working for other master restorers, Mr. De Lellis opened his own atelier in Rome, Il Laboratorio di Restauro, working not only on antique furniture but also on historical instruments such as fortepianos and harpsichords, as well as modern pianos, including Steinway, Bosendorfer, and Bechstein. He developed a following among galleries as well as a devoted private clientele, and crafted replicas of important antique. In his workshop, Marco developed techniques of blending antique and modern finishing processes, such as French polishing with organic lacquer and synthetic nitrocellulose, as well as the use of polyurethane and polyester.
At this time he also founded the salon "Salotto Romano," bringing together artisans and artists to share music, art, wine, and food, in the unique atmosphere of his workshop.
In 2001, Mr. De Lellis moved to New York from Italy. He first worked in a variety of piano rebuilding shops to become familiar with American methods and markets. After a short while, he opened his own restoration facility in the Astoria section of Queens, where his vast knowledge of both antique furniture and keyboard instrument restoration has allowed him to offer a range and depth of services completely unique in the American market.