Here are some of our favourite high-quality violins at this price range. These are by makers that we have worked with for years and selected by musicians for their playing qualities and distinctive tone.
"One can always find a better violin for £15,000"
This is a common saying in the stringed instrument world and we often see players with this budget endlessly looking for the next best instrument.
There is, of course, some truth to this as the selection at this price range is vast; but so is their quality.
The options available range from lower-end anonymous antiques in varying conditions, auctions, and contemporary instruments. It is our opinion that, for the majority of players, a new instrument by a reputable maker is by far the best way to maximise your investment, both in terms of the quality and potential future returns.
In order to get the most out of your budget however, there are 3 main criteria to consider when deciding what to try:
A beautiful violin, made by Master Luthier Ulf Kloo in his workshop in Béziers, France. This violin is the Op. 66 from 2017 is inspired by Stradivari’s golden period. The back and sides are made from a carefully selected Bosnian bird’s eye maple and give the violin a wonderful character. Very easy to play on, it will respond extremely well to the violinist’s input. It has been played in concert halls and has very good projection throughout all registers. This violin would be perfect for a budding violinist looking for a great violin to launch their career. The violin comes certified by the luthier.
My instruments have been exhibited at the Triennale in Cremona 1997 and 2009, at the Royal Academy of Music in London 2004, the Concours Etienne Vatelot in Paris 2011 and Violas 2012 at the Conservatory of Paris. During 2015 I exhibited at the Cuvée Darling Exhibition in Cremona, and at the Amati Exhibition in London, and in 2016 at Musicora in Paris with the ALADFI association. Kloo violins and violas are played in symphony orchestras / opera houses, by several section leaders, as well as by freelance musicians and advanced students.
Colin Cross created a Guarneri model violin that stands out for its exceptional beauty and tonal quality. The violin showcases a stunning appearance, with its rich and elegant finish that highlights the intricate details of the woodwork. More importantly, it produces a warm and rich sound that leans towards the darker side, making it perfect for expressive music. This violin by Colin Cross boasts excellent projection, clear intonation, and excellent resonance that brings out the best of every note played. It's an instrument that produces a well-rounded and balanced sound, with a pleasing complexity that draws in listeners. Musicians who play this violin will enjoy its depth and complexity, making it an excellent choice for solo performances. Additionally, the competitive price point makes it an attractive option for musicians who want a high-quality violin without the high cost.
The son of Frederic Chaudiere, Octave comes from a family of violin makers. This violin is a captivating and charming instrument that appeals to a wide range of musicians. It stands out as a delightful addition to any music lover's collection. Its pleasant resonance and rich tonal qualities create an immersive playing experience that both performers and listeners can enjoy. Comfortable to hold and easy to play, the Octave Chaudiere violin ensures that musicians can focus on expressing their creativity and passion without distraction. This instrument is an inspiring example of the diverse world of music-making.
Part of a quartet of wonderful instruments by the well-known violin maker Nigel Harris, this was played by the first violin of the Enso Quartet for a number of years and subsequently by the first violin of the Heath Quartet. They were used in eminent concert venues such as the Wigmore Hall and the Enso quartet was nominated for a grammy for best chamber music CD playing on these instruments. The violin itself is very powerful with a bright sound. Its brilliance and projection lends itself very well to solo playing but the instrument is versatile and will adapt to any player.
Made entirely by hand in Lucas Fabro’s private workshop in Cremona, the violin was made using only the best, traditional and highly-acclaimed Cremonese techniques. Thus, the instrument plays with ease, freedom and sweetness, not to mention the power expected of the best instruments of the Italian school of violin-making. It responds very quickly and will project extremely well in any concert hall. The low end is rich and dark and the top end is powerful all while retaining the precision of old Italian instruments. This violin is sure to please the professional player at any level, whether they play in orchestra, chamber music or solo. The violin comes certified from the Luthier.
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.