“The violin does not accept mediocrity,” as the singer and humourist Boby Lapointe once noted, immediately before gratuitously abusing an instrument to make the point to his audience. That's why, for decades, generations of virtuosi have come up with ever new ways to distinguish themselves on the stage – or, more recently, on the web. Here are ten violinists who won't fail to surprise you with their unexpected talents.

1Filip Jaslar (MozART group)

Generally, one plays the violin with a bow. But as accessories go, that's not the only way of shining on the stage. It's possible to get perfectly succesful results with a table tenis bat, as demonstrated by the first violin of the Polish quartet “MozART group”.


2Wilbur Hall

For sure, Wilbur Hall's posture didn't come out of the textbooks. None the less, let's admire the smoothness of his phrasing, the disarming authenticity of his interpretation and his ability to make a melody with a bicycle pump.


3Baron Buika 

Another acrobat of the instrument, Baron Buika has trodden his own path to notoriety: one violin is good, two is better!


4Gilles Apap 

A protege of Yehudi Menhin, who loved his humour, Gilles Apap prefers to use two bows. With a particularly airborne technique which you can't help but respect.


5Edward Stanelli

Here's a man who would have understood how to create buzz on social networks – if only they'd been around in the 1930s. A remarkable violinist who crossed over to humourous performances, Stanelli had his own unique bowing technique.


6Ray Chen

Yes, it is possible at 30 to have a great virtuoso career and play concert tours in tux and tails. As well as producing deliriously funny short videos. Ladies and gentlemen, Ray Chen.


7 & 8Brett Yang et Eddie Chen (TwoSet Violin)

Here's Ray Chen again, in the company ofTwoSet Violin, a pair of Australian violinists who have been hotting things up since 2014 with their home videos on the daily life of musicians. It's all in the staging.


9Aleksey Igudesman

The duo of Igudesman and the pianist Hyung-ki Joo has trod the boards across the world with their show A Little Nightmare Music. Here's a violinist who uses all his imagination in many sketches which have achieve cult status, unafraid to dance with his instrument.


10Charlie Chaplin

In this list of talented and funny violinists, we can't be allowed to forget Chaplin. In this hilarious scene from the movie Limelight, the eagle-eyed will spot that Chaplin plays the violin backwards! He was left-handed, and played – not without success – on a suitably modified instrument.