Greatest Violinist of All Time


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The Top Ten

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.
[Newest]Just shadmehr... My honor...

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?
Máiréad is the best. She plays here violin so beautiful haunting. Absolutely awesome. Máiréad has a beautiful feeling for sounds of the music. She is creative and versatile in playing the music. If you jump, spin and dance over the floor, all while playing the fiddle, thats amazing, Actually she is playing with Celtic Woman. Máiréad live to see in the concert, if you interacts with her fans, that's so haunting. The cutest fiddle player on the world.
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.
[Newest]Plays with emotion and grace
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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.


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


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


30 sec to mars
Samo napred You're the Best

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.
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.
[Newest]Niccolò Paganini played 3 of the most expensive violins in history. He composed a lot of music and he is one of my favorites too.

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.
[Newest]Perlman happens to be the greatest among the living from the Golden Age. The modern violinists may become as great, but comparisons to other living violinists are rather futile. He's not a master; he's THE master.

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.
[Newest]I love his performances and his modesty. He's the best and still he didn't lose his natural, almost childish, charm. Thank you David. Your toil is a balm for our souls and makes this world more bearable.
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8Bijan Mortazavi
Bijan mortazavi is the king. I loovee him.
He is the best in the world
Best Violinist in the word
[Newest]Best at what is he do

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.
As per me, she is the best violinist of the world. Her style of playing and her way of putting notes is brilliant.
[Newest]She plays like a shimmering Jewel.

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.
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.
[Newest]Leonid kogan in top three

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.

13Lindsey 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.
Lindsey Stirling is the best... She listens to what her fans have to say and she enjoys making music for them and meeting them... Lindsey should really be one of the top violinists of all time
[Newest]She is my idol! She adds a modern twist to classic music

14Jascha 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.
[Newest]Certainly the best violinist of all time.

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 best of modern times
He plays extremely well, and has special unrivaled style, very agile hands as well!
The emotion he showed in Yanni's "To The Last Moment" cannot be topped, his violin was practically singing!
[Newest]Samvel for talent alone is the best in the world today

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
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.

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.
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!

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

21Maxim Vengerov
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.
One word. Love. He loves violin and he loves putting the emotion and he loves performing for the people.
[Newest]He is definitely the top nowadays!

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...

A dream since years the combining of classic, traditionals and modern elements...

24Kyung-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.

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

26Nigel Kennedy
Can play classical, rock and crossover better than anybody else could dream of playing!
Such a comedian and unassuming artist whose technique is quite distinctive. The Four Seasions belongs to Nigel

27Leila Josefowicz


29Alexander 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.

30Pablo de Sarasate
Because he is very good

31Pinchas 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.

32Billy 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.

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
He is a pure genius!
Stow away your predilections for a moment and listen to his abheri, you. Will be amazed

34Janine Jansen
Technical incredible. Such passion, drive, emotion, and energy
Passionate, gifted and the best alive today
Best at Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorak concertos

35Anne 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 part of of her violin. I can listen to her play for hours.

36John Cale

37Farid Farjad

38Nathan Milstein

39Meysam Marvasti

40Peter Lee Johnson

41Leonid 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.


43Lara St. John

44Amberly Rosen
There aren't many who can both play and sing.
She's a fantastic violinist and fiddler and a ball of fire to boot. Charisma? When ever she appears on stage she steals the show!
John Seekamp

45Bahman Mehabadi

46Mohsen Namjoo
Mohsen Namjoo is the best singer in iran
I love mohsen namjoo... he was the apprentice of mr shajarian...

47Antonio Vivaldi
Not only could he play, he could write and play what he wrote


48Arthur 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.

49Henry Lau

50Ali Ahmadi
Is the best violinist & pianist
Is the best violinist

51Shahrdad Rohani
The beest in music

52Isaac Stern
As far as I'm concerned I think that Issac Stern is the greatest violinist ever. For his incredible speed experience
Style and passion. Only need to listen to the fiddler on the roof solo and you will be taken by this wonderful violinist.
Should be at the top of this list. Extraordinary virtuoso. Passed a few years ago now.

53Ehsan Khaje Amiri

54Jessie 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


56Karol Lipinski

Sugizoo..! We are X Always Support for you

58Ida 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.

59Shahin Khaki

60Hossein Sayahi
He is also a very good piano player and guitar player
He is a Singer

61Arabella Steinbacher
The best in the world playing at the moment

62L. Subramaniam
Considered amongst the greatest Carnatic (South Indian Classical) violinists ever.

63Ivry Gitlis

64Liviu Prunaru

65Ray Chen

66Olen Cezari

67Charlie Siem
Its hard nowadays to watch pieces created by the masters to be interpreted with skill and passion. Charlie Siem lets his violin sing, and his work is easy to appreciate because of his YouTube channel. His work is inspiring and accessible; listening to him play is like breathing fresh air. His interpretations are a careful combination of tradition and modern. In a nutshell, Charlie Siem is a breathtaking violinist, and even in a video, you can hear the raw passion and the life in the violin and the piece
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 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.

73Sergey Khachatryan
He is devoted violin player

74Imran Khan

75Lorenza Ponce

76Asadollah Malek
He is best violinist Iranian
I really admire him

77Dinu Lipatti

78Lee Cremo

79Ikuko Kawai

80Christian Howes

81Harry Lookofsky

82Richard Greene

83Sid Page

84James Ennis
A fine Canadian contribution to the list

85Emad Ghanbari

86Ali Tajvidi

87Eugene Ysaÿe


89Giuseppe Tartini

90Jerry Goodman

91Michael Rabin
Virtuoso technique, fiery passion.

92Robert McDuffie
From Rome to NY the greatest ever!

93Arsalan Kamkar

94Gil 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.

95Vahid Nasrolahi

96Edvin Marton

97Nicola Benedetti
Great potential for future top ten list
One of the best from scotland!

98M. Chandrasekaran

99Jan Kubelik

100Sayaka Shoji

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This list was created 6 years, 292 days ago and has been voted on over 14,000 times. This top ten list contains 109 items, has been remixed 12 times and has been blogged about 2 times.

Updated Sunday, April 26, 2015

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