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Walter’s guitar building and playing careers began at the same time in the suburbs of Chicago. Early musical training in drums and electric guitar (with the associated stints in a few rock and roll bands) led him to an interest in a higher form of music. At just that moment, legendary classical guitarist Andres Segovia came to play at Orchestra Hall in downtown Chicago, and Walter was in the audience. “It was a pivotal moment for me,” states Walter, “to be in the presence of someone who could make 3,000 people dead silent so they could hear one guitar without amplification. It was completely antithetical to the rock and roll experience.” Walter’s parents encouraged him to make his own classical guitar, and with the help of a good friend and band-mate whose father was an accomplished amateur cabinetmaker, a new career was born.