Greatest Violinist of All Time

anetnut

Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Shadmehr Aghili
Shadmehr is the best! He's the best singer of iran
I am so proud that shadmehr is Iranian
He is a gifted violinist. He is also a very good piano player and guitar player, however, his talent in playing violin made him extremely unique from other artists.
More comments about Shadmehr Aghili

2Mairead Nesbitt
There are lots of reasons to love Mairead. 1) I have never seen another fiddle player capable of flying around the stage, spinning so fast that it would make most people dizzy and still be able to play amazingly!
2) As someone else said, she truly cares about her fans. She is loving and sweet and Mairead meet and greets are always awesome.
3) When Mairead is on stage, it is poetic. The soft melodies are hauntingly beautiful and she pulls you in. On the more upbeat songs, she is extremely energetic and you cannot help but smile.
4) She is INCREDIBLE with interacting with people during a show. She smiles genuinely all the time and really knows how to connect with her fans.
What is not to love about Mairead?
Mairead Nesbitt is like no other. She truly is the best. Her passion, her talent, her grace, perfection, beauty... There is so much to be said about it it would take me quite a long long time to do it. The best I can say in words is, "Mairead Nesbitt is the essence of true beauty in every sense of the word. She is beautiful inside and out. "
Mairead is my hero, she will always be. Her energy and excitement to share what she does is alive, it is contagous!
She is number one in my heart. I love Mairead, I hope that even someday when she's retired we'll still her that beautiful fiddle echoing still.
I had the pleasure to see Mairead perform twice, and I believe it is completely impossible for Mairead NOT to deliver. She has blown me away every time I've seen her on film, but to see her in person is a real treat. She has so much energy and you can definitely tell that she absolutely loves what she does. The greatest thing about her is that her slower songs are so hauntingly beautiful. Listen to Last Rose Fantasia and tell me you aren't moved! Mairead truly is the greatest violinist.
More comments about Mairead Nesbitt

3Lucia Micarelli
I believe Lucia has more emotion in her playing than I have seen ever before and she is technically magnificent
She can absolutely rock your socks off! ;) She is a delight to watch in person. So much energy! Best known for her collaborations with Josh Groban and classic rock band Jethro Tull. She was the concertmaster with TSO on their Christmas Season Tour in 2003.

anetnut

Never heard anything like her. What style and passion. I could listen to her for hours.

yjagge

More comments about Lucia Micarelli

4Tomo Milicevic
I'm a violinist, and I must affirm that the greatest violinist of all time is Tomislav Milicevic

apocalypticsoldier95

30 sec to mars

5Niccolò Paganini
He has composed the most complicated yet most beautiful violin pieces ever... Such as La Campanella, which later Franz Liszt made a piano etude from it with the same name.
Paganini is Simply the greatest. Most contemporary violonists consider his music as the most difficult & beautiful to play. Also so many great players were influenced by his techniques & style. Also he put the solo artist on the map with his dramatic on stage persona... Basically showed everyone the way. Even today rock guitarists try to copy Paganini in so many ways... To me simply the God of Violin.. Wish Franz Listz or Bierloz could speak now as they probably owe Paganini some quid...
My grandfather was a classical violinist who was held in high regard in his native Vienna. The legendary Heifitz presented him with a beautiful violin and loved his playing. Despite his aristocratic arrogance, he would confide to my grandmother that Paganini was the most fiery and artful violinist of all time. He would point out the degree of complexity in his work and the virtuosity needed to play and compose such "devilish" music. Coming from him, it had to be true.
More comments about Niccolò Paganini

6Itzhak Perlman
I am not sure How you can vote for some contemporary violinist like Lucia or Sarah Chang over some of the masters. Itzhak Perlman has way more experience than new violinists, in the current times he is for sure the greatest violinist of our time. He has won 15 grammy awards and has has been awarded the National medal of the Arts and the Medal of Liberty.
Like other violin masters, Perlman just makes everything seem extraordinarily easy. But he seems to be able to combine ease and passion and, well, you only need to watch him play yourself to really get him.
But I think a lot of this is just opinion, because seriously all of these guys are so excellent that it's almost just preference.
Perlman is the best I ever heard. The young ones have not yet reached his level. Paganini is a legend and could perhaps be the greatest but I have not heard a great recording he made.
More comments about Itzhak Perlman

7David Garrett
Now if you want to be inspired, I suggest you take a look at this guy and his talent! There's not even a little doubt that he's the best! Listen to his album: Rock symphonies. Keep rocking David!
David is a very talented violinist. He can play classical and crossover music, too, and they're fantastic! David is a virtuoso, and lots of people like him, because he plays modern songs, too. "Music is vacation from life... "-says David.
I love listening he playing Hungarian Dances no. 5 and He's a Pirate.
More comments about David Garrett

8Bijan Mortazavi
Bijan mortazavi is the king. I loovee him.
He is the best in the world
Best Violinist in the word
More comments about Bijan Mortazavi

9Sarah Chang
So natural and humane. She doesn't pretend something superior but just expresses her own. That is what mordern listener likes.
The Vivaldi Four Seasons is brilliant by Sarah.
She is so amazing. Her performance is so natural. It sounds like singing
More comments about Sarah Chang

10David Oistrakh
Well, this is of course a preference matter, Oistrakh's performance like me a lot... but if we listen Szering's Bach I'd say he has no competence.. well I think there is not such ten top violinist...
The only worthy violinist on this list from recent times - who knows how Paganini played. Oistrakh is the king and always will be. Incredible sound and incredible artistry.
Leonid kogan in top three
More comments about David Oistrakh

The Contenders

11Hillary Hahn
Just saw her at Lincoln Center... She was terrific. Played a Bach piece as an encore that was beautiful.
Beautiful tone; very mature musical sense.
Just watching her play Mendelsohn. Fantastic.

12Yehudi Menuhin
The absolute master violinist. Some of his recordings are classics and still sought after. He defined the standards that others are measured against. He was also one of the best Violin teachers teaching Nigel Kennedy etc. No one else in this list compares.
Yehudi menuhin was the greatest violinst. He was amazing. He play violin like haven.

13Jascha Heifetz
Heifetz is the best in which you can still hear his recordings and videos today. Absolutely phenomenal. His left hand pizzicato in Paganini's Caprice no. 24 took my breath away. Heifetz even told people about his practicing routine, "I never practice more than three hours a day and I don't practice at all on Sundays. " Can you believe that?! "Oh, Heifetz? He isn't my student, he is a student of God. " Says his teacher. "I can't believe I'm talking to a God! I am talking to Heifetz. " Says Itzhak Perlman when he first met Heifetz. Rest in peace, Heifetz. May Heaven and the world still listen to your wonderful music.
Heifetz set the standard for violin playing for the Twentieth Century & beyond. You can tell it's Heifetz with a single note; even an open G. No other violinist established such a unique tone & style. He also never played with a shoulder pad, as everyone seems to use today.
No one can touch him. Heifetz set the standard. He makes a violin sing, talk, dance, breathe the breath of life. He was a gift from God Almighty and now he plays for Him.
More comments about Jascha Heifetz

14Lindsey Stirling
I would agree, she is amazing and loves what she does, also she is young so that is good for her, and I also like the fact that she listens to her fans. Also at the end of her videos if someone was in it she gives them credit, which is rare nowadays because almost all the bands now just want credit for what they did, musicians started becoming selfless, but Lindsey Sterling does not do that, so this should put her up top
She is a true inspiration. She listens to her fans. Has awesome violin skills and her music videos show a lot of creativity in them. She has great moral values.
I like her video and fancy listening her violen according to me the best one.
More comments about Lindsey Stirling

15Fritz Kreisler
I have heard quite a few live, and would put Kreisler if not the best, then the most charismatic. Remember that Elgar's Violin Concerto was dedicated to him. He was a Captain in the Austrian army and was badly wounded with sabre slashed and hoof strikes when a cossack horse plus cossack charged at him. The last thing he remembered with the cossack toppling as a reult of him activating his rifle. Fritz was one of the old school who traveled by public bus to recitals.
A true violin Master. His live concerts were truly outstanding and his audiences were truly appreciative of this man's talent. Unfortunately the technology of recordings in his day do not measure up to the range and purity of today's recordings.

16Samvel Yervinyan
The emotion he showed in Yanni's "To The Last Moment" cannot be topped, his violin was practically singing!
The best of modern times
He plays extremely well, and has special unrivaled style, very agile hands as well!
More comments about Samvel Yervinyan

17Boyd Tinsley
Powerful delivery of the music ideas and unique performance style set Boyd apart from other rock violinists. His solos truly boost the energy of the band and astonish the audience of hundreds of thousands.
What he brings to the band is amazing. He has so much energy. He can really make the music come alive!

18Marc O'Connor

19Joshua Bell
He was a child prodigy and throughout his life he has kept the highest standards and done amazing and creative things with his violin, from giving a "concert" in the metro station to see people's reactions to becoming director of one of England's major orchestras. His passion for music, his extraordinary interpretation of every classic piece that he touches is of the highest caliber. In my estimation, he is one of the perhaps three top violinists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
He the best best best ever! He play beethoven extra ordinarily. Every hats off to him. I love him so much!
Ha ha The man with violin
More comments about Joshua Bell

20Leonidas Kavakos
My opinion is that all listed above are great violin players and have many gifts in their hands but Leonidas is the best violinist I have ever seen. He hold 4 things in a truly extraordinary way. Speed feeling accuracy and theoretical base of what he does every single moment. Respect to Mutter Bell Perlman Menuhin Oistrach Kogan and many others.
His youthful interpretations of Paganini would in my opinion astonish Paganini himself, they are simply devilish... Nowadays of course he has matured and his mere sound with its radiant purity and powerful brilliance is the reason that his concerts sell out.
He is just the number 1 in this list
More comments about Leonidas Kavakos

21Maxim Vengerov
One word. Love. He loves violin and he loves putting the emotion and he loves performing for the people.
The emotion he plays music is just amazing. Nobody can compare the emotion and quality of sound Maxim Vengerov uses. He's just so amazing.
You don't have an idea about violin if you don't know Maxim Vengerov. He is the most known violinist alive as a master of violin on earth.
More comments about Maxim Vengerov

22Julia Fischer
Her technique is amazing. Also, she is very passionate about being the best. Julia Fischer is such an inspiration!
Her technique is excellent and she interprets the music very well!
I love seeing Julia Fischer playing because she plays with a lot of passion... Actually the violin is only one more part of her body.

Junior Cunha... Facebook.com/junioreelizane
Pjuniorcunha@yahoo.com

23Kyung-wha Chung
The most musical violinist I've ever heard. Matchless in her sensitivity, passion and imagination, she does every piece she plays justice and more.
She is second to no one, in terms of her passion to violin.
She's my childhood hero. She is so great.
More comments about Kyung-wha Chung

24Venessa-Mae
A dream since years the combining of classic, traditionals and modern elements...

25Parviz Yahaghi
Parviz yahaghi is king of violin in all of times
Noun to second.. Parviz have been recorded several album at his home! Innovative violinist who rooted in Persian art heritages.
I think he s the best, ccording to the era he d lived, & limited music aquirements in that time
More comments about Parviz Yahaghi

26Nigel Kennedy
Such a comedian and unassuming artist whose technique is quite distinctive. The Four Seasions belongs to Nigel

27Leila Josefowicz

28Pinchas Zukerman
Unbelievable Musician, he is 10 times better in every way when you think what best is:- Sound quality/tone, out of this world; expression, profound and other worldly, nobody ever come close to his ability to carry music to the beyond extreme! I cannot describe it, at least not in even a billion worlds...
Pinchas Zukerman has to be in the top three of LIVING violinists as the best in the World. Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman a close second and third.
Notice anything? They are all Jewish. Most of the World's best instrumentalists are, for they excel in music.
And best violist too.
More comments about Pinchas Zukerman

29Billy Contreras
Billy Contreras is a musical prodigy and certainly one of the top ten violinists/fiddlers in the country. He has been on tour with George Jones for nearly two years. In his spare time he is an adjutant professor at Belmont University's School of Music.
And, by the way, Billy is America's premiere jazz violinist.
Billy's talent knows no bounds; he is comfortable sitting first chair in a world-class orchestra or on stage at a Bluegrass festival.
More comments about Billy Contreras

30Midori

31Alexander Rybak
A naturally talented man who can fluently speak in 3 different languages and can sing and play the violin, occassionally dancing as well. Soothing and emotional music is what this artist creates.

32Pablo de Sarasate
Because he is very good

33L Shankar
He is the best. He has mastered both the difficult and complex Indian and western music. He is great. He has collaborated with great violinists and proved his worth

34John Cale

35Nathan Milstein

36Farid Farjad

37Anne Sophie Mutter
Absolutely the best living violinist. Such depth of humanity in her music making and in her life.
Integrity and passion in everything she plays.
She is definitively in the list

38Peter Lee Johnson
He is super amazing

39Leonid Kogan
A beautiful sound, crystal clear and intensive performing. As young I loved brothers Oystrah and Svj.Richter, and I didn't have ear for a beauty of Kogans music. But I am thankful now.

40Meysam Marvasti

41Xainyar

42Janine Jansen

43Lara St. John

44Amberly Rosen
There aren't many who can both play and sing.

45Mohsen Namjoo
Mohsen Namjoo is the best singer in iran
I love mohsen namjoo... he was the apprentice of mr shajarian...

46Henry Lau

47Ali Ahmadi
Is the best violinist & pianist
Is the best violinist

48Bahman Mehabadi

49Shahrdad Rohani
The beest in music

50Antonio Vivaldi
Not only could he play, he could write and play what he wrote

severalsomeones


51Arthur Grumiaux
Arthur Grumiaux was another one of the great violinists of his time (1921-1986). He stopped his public performances during the Nazi occupation of his country.

52Jessie Burns

Jessie Burns is the violin player for the Irish singing group 'Gaelic Storm'. She has a ton of energy when playing on stage and it is obvious that she has so much fun when playing on stage


53Hahn-Bin

54Sugizo
Sugizoo..! We are X Always Support for you

55Ida Haendel
Ida Haendel is still an amazing violinist and teacher. She is way advanced in age but can still move one's heart with her playing.

56Shahin Khaki

57Isaac Stern
Should be at the top of this list. Extraordinary virtuoso. Passed a few years ago now.

58Hossein Sayahi
He is also a very good piano player and guitar player
He is a Singer

59Ehsan Khaje Amiri

60Arabella Steinbacher
The best in the world playing at the moment

61L. Subramaniam
Considered amongst the greatest Carnatic (South Indian Classical) violinists ever.

62Karol Lipinski

63Ivry Gitlis

64Liviu Prunaru

65Ray Chen

66Olen Cezari

67Charlie Siem
The best of the all, and he is young. A name and career to follow.
Passionate, fills you with emotions when he plays.
Such a gifted artist! I love his work!

68Kristine Claire Galano
11-year old, Filipno
She's a PRODIGY
She plays paganini pieces

69Rachel Barton Pine
One of the top six today I am sure, what a beautiful sound she makes just to start with, and he musicianship is second to none, superhuman techniques. She is also an amazing musicologist, charity, show host and an amazing Mom...!
She is one of the top say 6 violinist in the World today in my book! She is one of the top 3 sounds in the World today!

70Idris Sardi
From Indonesia no comparison

71Alexander Markov
Just listen to him play Paganini captures 24. He owns it!

72Kasra Khadivar
So talented & emotional!
Just watch "Farzad Farzin Mask" video on the internet.

73Imran Khan

74Lee Cremo

75Ikuko Kawai

76Christian Howes

77Harry Lookofsky

78Richard Greene

79Sid Page

80James Ennis
A fine Canadian contribution to the list

81Emad Ghanbari

82Ali Tajvidi

83Eugene Ysaÿe

84Balabhaskar

85Giuseppe Tartini

86Jerry Goodman

87Michael Rabin
Virtuoso technique, fiery passion.

88Robert McDuffie
From Rome to NY the greatest ever!

89Arsalan Kamkar

90Gil Shaham
I am surprised Gil Shaham was not mentioned earlier in this list. My wife and my daughters think he is the absolute best. Myself, I have to say I like him a lot also, but I am not sure I would place him above Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hilary Hahn or David Oistrakh.

91Edvin Marton

92Sergey Khachatryan
He is devoted violin player

93Nicola Benedetti
One of the best from scotland!

94M. Chandrasekaran

95Lorenza Ponce

96Jan Kubelik

97Mischa Elman

98Homayoun Khorram

99Sayaka Katsuki

100Vahid Nasrolahi

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List

Vahid

mleat97

Abhishekabs

uncletommy

theultimateperlman

see more...

Posts About This List

Joshua Bell

MarieAlicia

List Info

This list was created 5 years, 289 days ago and has been voted on over 13,000 times. This top ten list contains 101 items, has been remixed 10 times and has been blogged about 1 times.

Updated Wednesday, April 23, 2014


List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.