5 exceptional Italian violin makers with a bright future

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Embark on a journey through the artistry of Italy’s finest violin makers! Discover the unique qualities that make their instruments a favorite among modern musicians and the rich heritage they uphold in every crafted piece.

  • Daniele Tonarelli: This Cremonese craftsman, with his assistant Davide Pizzolato, creates violins that blend power and elegance, echoing the revered Stradivari and Guarneri designs. Their instruments are a hit with the new wave of soloists.
  • Marco Cargnelutti: Hailing from near Venice, Marco’s violins, violas, and cellos are a testament to his skill, resonating with a warmth and strength that pay homage to the legendary Davide Sora. Keep an eye on this rising star!
  • Luca Salvadori: A luthier from Cremona, Luca’s award-winning creations are known for their impeccable proportions and finesse. His instruments are not just visually stunning but also produce a striking sound that sets them apart.
  • Fiorella Anelli: Milan-born Fiorella crafts violins that are robust, bright, and easy to play, especially her baroque models. They’re known for their round full tone and impressive projection, making them a delight for both newbies and seasoned baroque enthusiasts.
  • Edgar Russ: A big personality in the violin-making scene, Edgar’s instruments are as versatile as they come, with sound qualities ranging from dark and introspective to bright and projecting. His following is strong, and his violins and cellos are sought after worldwide.
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5 of the finest Italian violin makers are working today.

Discover who they are and what makes their violins special!

Italian violin makers

Italian violin makers

Italy has long been known as the birthplace of fine string instruments, and for a good reason.

From the days of the Old Masters, such as Nicolo Amati and Antonio Stradivari, to the present day, a delicate blend of tradition and innovation has made Italy synonymous with fine violins.

Though not the only place to find high-quality musical instruments, Italian violin makers consistently manufacture violini (violins), viole (violas), and violoncelli (cellos) of the highest caliber.

We selected 5 Italian violin makers based on their outstanding work, friendly personalities, and willingness to try new things.

Daniele Tonarelli

Daniele Tonarelli

Daniele Tonarelli is a well-known artisan in Cremona, Italy. He creates violins of the highest quality, both in terms of sound and craftsmanship, with his young and talented assistant Davide Pizzolato.

He creates Stradivari, Guarneri, and Guadagnini versions.

He gives each violin his undivided attention and care, resulting in instruments di qualità eccezionale (of exceptional quality).

His sound is distinct in that it can easily project while retaining the elegance and beauty of the old masters.

They are widely regarded in the world and are preferred by many of today’s young soloists.

Marco Cargnelutti

Marco Cargnelutti

In Italy today, Marco Cargnelutti is a very talented young violin maker.

He creates some of the most excellent strumenti (instruments) we’ve seen, drawing inspiration from both old and modern Cremonese masters.

He is located in Gemona del Friuli, near Venice. From there, he crafts beautiful violins, violas, and cellos.

Their sound is warm and strong, and their craftsmanship, both in color and technique, is reminiscent of the great Davide Sora.

He’ll undoubtedly have a stellar career creating instruments, and we’ll be hearing a lot more from him in the coming years.

Luca Salvadori

Luca Salvadori

Luca Salvadori, a Cremonese liutaio (luthier), is one of the great craftsmen of his generation. Few makers may match his sense of proportion and refinement in their instruments.

He has received various awards at International Violin Making Competitions in the United States, Italy, and France.

I suoi strumenti sono sorprendenti.

His instruments are striking.

The incredible varnish and careful wood selection make violins that stand out while remaining elegant.

Fiorella Anelli

Fiorella Anelli

Fiorella Anelli, who was born in Milan, creates instruments in the old Cremonese tradizione (tradition).

Fiorella’s violins are powerful, bright, and overflowing.

Her baroque instruments, in particular, have a round full tone, very resonant and impressive projection, and are very comfortable to play on – even for someone who is not used to a baroque setup.

Edgar Russ

Edgar Russ

In the world of contemporary Italian violin making, Edgar Russ is a big name with an even bigger personality.

He has built a significant following over the years, implying that his instruments are in high demand all over the world.

We’ve had the opportunity to try many of Edgar’s excellent violins and cellos, and one thing that stands out about him as a maker is his versatilità (versatility).

Depending on the model, sound characteristics can range from dark and introspective to bright and projecting.

Cremona: The City of Violins 🇮🇹

Italian violin makers of Cremona

Working in the shadow of the great masters, Italian violin makers of Cremona are fighting a shrinking demand and global competition as they strive for perfection, one violin at a time.

The birthplace of Stradivarius, Cremona is a genuine laboratory for luthiers

da tutto il mondo,

from all over the world,

where violin workshops really are everywhere you look.

Italian violin makers must compete with counterfeit instruments in the industry, but the most significant competition comes from lower-priced violins.

Master instruments start at 25,000 euros ($28,000), but fine-quality instruments will sell for as little as 10,000 euros less.

However, a Chinese violino (violin), archetto (bow), and custodia (case) can be purchased for 200 euros or less.

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They are economic instruments that are produced in series and are intended for those who are just starting out in their studies.

They are handcrafted, but 10 violin makers work on the same parts every day. It’s a line job with an assembly at the end.

There is no originality or authenticity. While in Cremona, it takes at least 300 hours to make a violin or between two and three months.

italian violin makers of cremona

Final thoughts

We’ve assembled a list of 5 luthiers to keep an eye on. There are some well-known violin makers among them, as well as some who are just starting out.

They all have one thing in common: exceptional craftsmanship and devotion to their profession.

The quality of the instruments is excellent, and as they age, they only get better.

Many musicians nowadays prefer modern instruments not only because they are less expensive but also because they have the opportunity to own a great instrument.

As a result, these manufacturers’ instruments are gaining popularity around the world.

This versatility, demonstrated by young soloists, chamber musicians, and orchestral players, has earned them universal support among musicians.

Let’s go to Cremona to discover them.

Andiamo a Cremona per scoprirli.

Related: Top 5 astonishing Italian furniture brands in 2021

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