Greatest Violinist of All Time

anetnut

The Top TenXW

1Niccolò Paganini

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.

This list, and all lists of the greatest violinists, begins with Paganini. Like Liszt to piano and Hendrix to guitar, they set standards of skill, mastery and groundbreaking technique that all playing that followed was influenced by them. They cannot be surpassed on any list of the greats... Period.

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.

One of the greatest violinist of all time. His pieces are so strong and hard that he made people cry in his concerts. This is obviously a violinist to be admired by everyone.

V37 Comments
2Bijan Mortazavi

Best Iranian violinist is Bijan Mortazavi, He is better than shadmehr aghili all Iranian know this, Viva Iranian player specially Bijan he is instructor violin player

He has something magical in his works which makes them outstanding and sweet even though some of them has been written simply. It is his ability to give notes life which comes from his experiences as violinist.

I think you make a mistake. He is the best in the world

He is the best in world

V33 Comments
3Itzhak 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.

Schindler's List and Memoirs of a Geisha are incredible!

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4Mairead 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?

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.

The remarkable Mairead can play ANYTHING! Her range of interest and proficiency is impressive. She is beyond technically sound and very versatile. She can go from playing a beautiful ballad and strait in to a lively jaunty tune without blinking an eyelash. No one puts more passion and integrity into her work than Mairead. She started off as a prodigy that just kept on going.

Mairead does not just play and dance, she tells a story with each piece and pulls you into a world of magic. When I listen to her and watch her, I forget about myself, my problems. I come out so happy and spiritually uplifted. You can always tell that it is her playing, since she has such a distinct style. She brings out the best in the violin, a very warm and flexible sound, and perfect technique and intonation. She is a true musician and reminds me of a fairy.

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5Sarah Chang

As per me, she is the best violinist of the world. Her style of playing and her way of putting notes is brilliant.

The Vivaldi Four Seasons is brilliant by Sarah.

She express how she loves play violin... And makes us enjoy everything she plays.

Gracious, Passionate

V9 Comments
6Lucia 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

I've never heard anyone get such an exquisite sound from a violin. - JoL

V4 Comments
7David 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.

As my predecessor said, it's a matter of taste, but to me, no violinist from the recording age can top Oistrakh. Perfect pitch, tempos, and always the music is achingly beautiful in his hands. MUCH better than Heifetz.

Best of the top violin players! His power and personality...

V4 Comments
8Tomo Milicevic

I'm a violinist, and I must affirm that the greatest violinist of all time is Tomislav Milicevic - apocalypticsoldier95

V2 Comments
9Jascha Heifetz

I am a singer. I thought the violin was alright, but so few, in my experience, ever made me want to listen for longer than a minute. Our public television station recently ran the life of Jascha Heifetz. He dedicated his life to the violin, and they called him "God's violinist." All of his life, relationship skills, and other talents we work to develop in our lives were focused on the violin and music. Like any genius that is so talented and focused, other things suffer. But NO ONE that I have ever heard play the violin can play like Jascha Heifetz. His music is pure, passionate (plus all the other emotions), and if you are at all open and truly listening, from heaven. There is no one to whom he can be compared.

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.

How is he not above everyone except Paganini. He inspired Perlman

V23 Comments
10Fritz Kreisler

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.

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.

Such an exquisite effortless style.

V1 Comment

The Newcomers

?Franz von Vecsey

The Contenders

11David 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.

He is Extraordinary!

V78 Comments
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.

Too Robotic, no carisma and Charm, he looks like he needs a Saw instead of a bow,
Try Grappelli or Vengarov instead, Grappeli played much sweeter and fluent on their combined albums

V1 Comment
13Joshua 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.

I think Josh will bill should be in the top 10 it doesn't make very much sense that a lot of these other violinists are in front of him he is way better than Lindsay Sterling. Also he's the most expensive musician in the world sought it doesn't make much sense why he's number 19 so you guys going to stop being stupid info Joshua Bell up to the top 10.

He the best best best ever! He play beethoven extra ordinarily. Every hats off to him. I love him so much!

Amazing, gifted player.

V4 Comments
14Marc O'Connor

Mark is the most versatile Violinist of our generation. His masterpiece The Fiddle Concerto is the most played American Violin Concerto written in over half a century. He matters flawlessly genres ranging from Stephane Grappelli era Jazz, Americana and Bluegrass to classical music. His music camp at Berklee College of music draws the best up and coming Violinists from around the world each year. Due to his versatility and The O'Connor method teaching success would make him, without doubt the most influential American Violinist I the last one hundred years.

15Homayoun Khorram
16Parviz Yahaghi

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

V2 Comments
17Anne Sophie Mutter

The mere fact that the depth of emotion and tender feeling she conveys on the violin is not at all diminished or disturbed by her prolific speed and adept accuracy has made me a spellbound admirer for many years. Her grace and beauty only embellish the core of her virtuosity as a violinist...

She is inimitable, Carmen-Fantasie try and listen. The best there is today.

She is definitively in the list

She is part of of her violin. I can listen to her play for hours.

V1 Comment
18Pablo de Sarasate

Sheer beauty is in his somber voice

V1 Comment
19Billy 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.

Billy's talent knows no bounds; he is comfortable sitting first chair in a world-class orchestra or on stage at a Bluegrass festival.

And, by the way, Billy is America's premiere jazz violinist.

20Hillary Hahn

Just saw her at Lincoln Center... She was terrific. Played a Bach piece as an encore that was beautiful.

Her interpretations on pieces are superb. She literally takes the notes out of my head! And every time I listen her play, it is exactly how I would play it if I were a master violinist.

Technically fantastic, maybe the best ever in terms of accuracy.

Best intonation

V6 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 25 Jun 2016

14,000 votes
132 listings
7 years, 353 days old

Top Remixes (14)

1. Antonio Vivaldi
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3. Homayoun Khorram
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1. Shadmehr Aghili
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