Our selection of the top violin makers in 2022. Chosen for their outstanding dedication to their craft, innovative work & consistently high-quality instruments.
We've put together a list of some of the world's best luthiers we think you should be aware of. Some of these are extremely well-known violin makers but we also have several who are still enhancing their profiles. The quality of the violins from these makers is exceptional and as the makers develop, they only get better.
We based our choices on their innovation, artistry and excellence in violin making. They are the best of the best in their craft.
It's not an easy task for us to do when there are so many great luthiers around the world, each with their own distinct style and personality but we do feel there are some luthiers that deserve extra attention.
Here are 5 of our favourite luthiers producing some of the best violins we've seen:
Joseph Curtin is one of the most innovative and respected violin makers in the world. He has a unique approach to making violins and is constantly exploring new ideas and techniques. His violins are extremely well made and have a beautiful sound. He has built violins for some of the most distinguished artists of our time, including Erick Friedman, Ilya Kaler, Cho-Liang Lin, Elmar Oliveira, Yehudi Menuhin, and Ruggiero Ricci. In 2005, Curtin was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. In 2013, the “ex-Ricci” Curtin & Alf violin sold in auction for $132,000, a world record price for work by living makers.
A fine example of Joseph Curtin's work - currently the only instrument by this maker available for sale in the UK. The sound is focused, deep and powerful but retains a very pleasing warm quality throughout the registers. This is one of the rare instruments that is sure to impress with its aesthetics, tone quality and sound projection. Ideally suited for a demanding soloist.
Francesco Toto is a highly skilled violin maker with over 25 years of experience. His cellos are also renowned for their quality and sound and musicians come from all over the world to play on them. He is one of the most sought after luthiers in the world and his instruments are in very high demand. He is a prize winner in many competitions including the Violin Society of America's international competition, the Cremona International Competition, amongst others.
His cellos are extremely well made, both aesthetically as well as acoustically. Their sound is powerful yet perfectly balanced between dark and bright. One of the most characteristic features of his instruments is their clear and full tone in every register.
Paolo Vettori is one of the most established makers on our list and his stunning violins and cellos have been played by top musicians for years. He has a unique style and an innovative spirit which you can see reflected in his work. His craftsmanship is excellent and he produces very fine instruments. He works with his two sons, Dario and Lapo, and his daughter Sofia, all fine makers themselves. Together, the team at Vettori workshop creates some of the finest violins and cellos you'll ever hear.
Their instruments are played by soloists as well as many orchestral principals due to their powerful and projecting sound.
Stefan-Peter Greiner is possibly the most recognized name in violin making in Europe. He is a master luthier with decades of experience. His instruments are highly sought after and he creates what many consider to be some of the best violins in the world. He has a unique and instantly recognizable style. Amongst the many world-class artists who play on his instruments are Christian Tetzlaff, Leonidas Kavakos, Ivry Gitlis, and many more.
Stefan-Peter Greiner makes exclusively antique looking instruments. The aesthetic quality of his instruments is nearly unmatched and he is therefore one of the most highly regarded luthiers today.
Gonzalo Bayolo is an outstanding Spanish luthier who makes fine violins, violas and cellos. He's a master craftsman and his instruments show exceptional workmanship. His work is often compared to some of the best Italian makers as he takes a similar approach to his craft.
Fantastic sounding Guarneri del Gesù Model Violin by Spanish maker Gonzalo Bayolo. We are big fans of Gonzalo's instruments at MyLuthier and we think he is one of the great makers of our generation. A perfect example, this violin achieves a rare balance of power and warmth. It speaks beautifully in all registers and the sound is characterized by its resonance and core.
These are just a handful of luthiers and there are many more outstanding ones that we haven’t listed here but these have made a name for themselves and rightfully so. They are highly talented and produce instruments that are of the highest quality. They set new standards in violin making and their work is widely recognized by musicians around the world. This is a testament to their creativity, craftsmanship and dedication to their field.
MyLuthier was started by two friends while they were studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
The idea was to provide musicians with the best instruments at a price they can afford.
We travelled Europe in search for exceptional violin makers and we’re proud of our selection and the partnerships we’ve developed.
This means that all of our instruments are rigorously tested and we approach them from a musician’s perspective.
Without a doubt, contemporary instruments are one of the best options for today’s musicians.
Ariel Lang is a Violinist and one of the Co-Founders of MyLuthier.co. He studied with Jack Liebeck at the Royal Academy of Music. As a freelance musician, he focuses on performing with small chamber ensembles such as the United Strings of Europe and O/Modernt.