Mads Tolling

Primary Instrument: Violin

Born: July 5, 1980    

”There is a generation of young string players who have come up with equal regard for the Bach Cello Suites and Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, for Beethoven’s String Quartets and the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Inner Mounting Flame. They dig Dvorak, Debussy and Ravel but also have committed to memory John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and Led Zeppelin IV.

“Violinist-composer-arranger Mads Tolling is definitely in that number. As a longstanding member for the last six years of both the fearless, genre-hopping Turtle Island Quartet and also bassist extraordinaire Stanley Clarke’s band, he is quite accustomed to shattering boundaries and pushing the envelope while dealing in the longstanding tradition of musical cross-fertilization (aka ‘fusion’). 'Being in those groups has influenced me a lot.' says the Copenhagen native, a violin prodigy at age 10 who graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music in 2003. 'I would not be able to make this album had it not been for the whole wealth of musical experiences that I’ve gone through in those bands....'”...
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2008 Grammy Award - Best Classical Crossover - Turtle Island Quartet - "The Legacy of John Coltrane - A Love Supreme"

2006 Grammy Award - Best Classical Crossover - Turtle Island Quartet - "4 + Four"

2002 Berklee Elvin Jones Award

2001 Sonning Award in

2000 Augustinus Foundation

2000 Queen Margaret Award

  • BUY

    Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty

    Madsman Records
  • BUY

    The Playmaker

    Madsman Records
  • BUY

    The Playmaker

    Self Produced
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Featured recording “Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty”

Latest Release

Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty

Madsman Records (2012)
Become a fan of Mads Tolling Track
“Tolling has a real gift for blending an unaffected folksy sound with sparse jazz licks that are the perfect complement to the atmospheric ambiance that grace most of these tracks. While Tolling is skilled at evoking a beautiful melody, he’s equally adept at filling out the sound with powerful double-stops and intricate harmonics…..” -Strings Magazine

“Mads Tolling Quartet Fires Up Oakland Venue Yoshi's with Furious Sound”…. “Mads' solo on “Star-maker Machinery” brought the house down and rightly so.” -The Daily Californian

“Now, as a bandleader, he'll showcase not just his flying bow and creatively nimble improvisation but also his eclectic arrangements…..” -SF Bay Guardian

“The set concluded with bassist Stanley Clarke’s tribute to Coltrane, “Song to John,” played in a complex but musically gripping arrangement by Tolling.” -LA Times

“……with Tolling a dominant voice, also reminiscent of Jean-Luc Ponty’s more finessed fusion…..” -All About Jazz

“……Tolling's “Danish Dessert”, with a snappy New Age kind of swing, was a big hit……” -Grand Rapids Press

“……The beautiful viola sounds of Mads Tolling…… I can’t remember the last time I heard a viola being played so gorgeously.” -The West Australian

“A high point was Tolling's emulation of horn stylings from the era on “Resolution,” mixing bursts of notes and drawn out higher tones, although his phrasing was more contemporary and glided smoother than Coltrane.” -All About Jazz

Primary InstrumentViolin

LocationAlbany, CA

Willing to teachAdvanced students only.

Credentials/BackgroundMads Tolling is a clinician for Yamaha and has given multiple masterclasses at various cities, including Vancouver, Toronto, Saskatoon, Montreal, Visalia, Los Angeles. Mads recently did a workshop at Mcqueen Highschool in Reno, NV.

Mads has in addition taught at Mark O'Connor's fiddle camp in San Diego in 2008.

Mads has a small roster of private students studying jazz violin.


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Yamaha SV-200(electric violin).

2 acoustic violins with pickups.

The elkit system is on one and the other uses the Stat-V by Schertler

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