Ara Malikian began studying the violin at an early age with his father. He gave his first concert at the age of 12 and when he was 14 he was invited to study in Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover in Hanover, Germany. At 15 he was the youngest student to be admitted in this school. Later he continued his studies in the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, at the same time receiving lessons from professors Franco Gulli, Ruggiero Ricci, Ivry Gitlis, Herman Krebbers and members of the Alban Berg Quartet.
He has assimilated the music of other cultures like those of the Middle East (Arab and Jewish), Central Europe (gipsy and Klezmer), Argentina (tango) and Spain (flamenco).
With a wide-ranging repertoire, that includes the majority of all the important pieces written for the violin (concerts with orchestra, sonatas and pieces with piano and chamber music) he has also premiered pieces from modern composers like Franco Danatoni, Malcolm Lipkin, Luciano Chailly, Ladislav Kupkovich, Loris Tjeknavorian, Lawrence Roman and Yervand Yernakian. Malikian also plays recitals for solo violin with programs featuring complete cycles of the "24 Caprices" of Paganini, the "6 Sonatas" of Eugène Ysaÿe and the "Sonatas and Partitas" of J.S. Bach.