A violinist is an instrumentalist who plays the violin. The terms fiddler or fiddle player are also used. In classical music the "fiddle" terms are usually somewhat informal or jokey: they are more standard expressions in folk music. In between there are nuances of meaning and usage which are difficult to formalize.
Composer-violinists were common in the Baroque era - Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli and Pietro Locatelli all played the violin. In the early 19th century, Niccolo Paganini did much to expand the instrument's technique. Other notable 19th century violinists include Joseph Joachim (who was friends with Johannes Brahms), Leopold Auer (who taught many famous violinists of following generations), Pablo de Sarasate and Eugene Ysaye.
Among significant later players are: