Greatest Violin Concertos of All Time

Such a list didn't exist, so I created it.. I am a composer myself, therefore my list includes all major works in this category. I know all of them and here's my ranking.. Symphonies, piano concertos and violin concertos are the most important musical forms. This list fills the existing gap.

The Top Ten

1 Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D Major

Tchaikovsky's violin concerto is one of the most expressive concertos I've ever listened to.

On another note, Tchaikovsky only has one violin concerto so there is no need to put the "No. 1".

This is an emotion filled composition. My first exposure to this phenomenal composition was at a live performance and I really did not like it. After listing to recordings by various artists I came to love this concerto.

Most ingenious, earth shaking, soul touching and intensely passionate piece I've ever heard in any genre of music hands down. From the first time I ever heard it performed live (by Lindsay Deutsch) it's power over me has stayed constant. I think Paganini would have loved it.

This is the among the top three beautiful pieces of all time! The first time I heard it, I was shocked, and in an emotional trance for a few days. It was SO beautiful, and SO difficult sounding that I even thought "I will never be able to learn this piece" I was so determined to learn it, however that I started to learn it for a competition. I'm now halfway through the first movement! Bravo Tchaikovsky! May your legacy never fade!

2 Beethoven - Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major

The Beethoven violin concerto is so wonderful, goose bumps from the beginning to the end.

This works reflected all his other works and despite of Tchaikovsky's concerto, it conclude whatsoever of Beethoven's own personal characteristics as well as his personalities.

Words cannot describe the wonder of this concerto. Makes you wonder if some higher force was at work when Beethoven composed it.

The greatest master of all music and this piece was masterpiece. though you should read the story behind it. sorry for my bad English

3 Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E Minor

I have many recordings of this concerto, but Yehudi Menuhin's is still my favorite.

Absolutely STUNNING! My absolute fave classical music concerto.

Most famous violin concerto (only to 4 seasons.) The best, especially with the 1st movement's finale.

Yehudi Menuhin playing this concerto is absolutely STUNNING!

4 Brahms - Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major

An absolute pleasure to listen to. Full of colour and passion. A dream.

Best violin concerto ever written, apart from Beethoven's. - pianocrazy4578

Best violin concerto ever written, including Beethoven's

Try Vengerov's interpretation and his cadenza is heavenly!

5 Sibelius - Violin Concerto in D-Minor

This violin concerto might be a little hard to understand and enjoy at first. At least that happened to me. But when you push yourself to listen to it a few times, you will descover how true and beautiful it is. Classical pieces are hard to compare with all eras bordering them, but my urge to listen to Sibelius' concerto over other great composers wins my vote for this deep and beautiful concerto.

To me, this concerto is the perfect marriage of emotion, technical genius, and orchestration. It truly is without equal.

Wonderfully evocative... beautiful... One of the only works I loved at first hearing.

To me it's the emotion and delicacy not that much present in other works of Sibelius.

6 Bach - Concerto for 2 Violins

The largo is as beautiful as any movement of any concerto of any era

7 Max Bruch - Violin Concerto No. 1

The slow part of the first movement of this concerto can throbs your inner most heart strings. It engulfs you with so much saddens and emotion which makes you to not let it go of it. You can only hear such sad notes in Beethoven's string quartets and Mahler's symphonies (slow notes). Nothing like it. Thanks God and Max Bruch for this great work.

For me, this concerto was a little difficult to understand the meaning and to be able to express a story through the song at first. After a few times listening to other players such as Sarah Chang and Joshua Bell who played the song beautifully, it was much easier to interpret it.

Heart wrenching at the extreme. Be prepared to cry buckets of tears. Not to be trifled with. Adored Joshua Bell's playing...

The 3rd movement is legendary.

8 Vivaldi - Four Seasons

The winter 2nd. So sad, so beautiful! Great representation of nature.

This is a masterpiece, Vivaldi teach how to make concertos to the forward generations of musicians.

Summer is above beautiful

I use the music in this collection as a musical yearly revolution - AyHaq

9 Shostakovich - Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.99

The fact that this masterpiece is not at least in the top 3 simply goes to show the purely snobbish nature of traditional classical music lovers. Mozart and Vivaldi do not come close in brilliance or influence to this godly composer.

Why is this not in the top ten? It is certainly hard to comprehend and takes a couple listens to sink in, but it is an absolutely amazing concerto. The first movement is just the perfect combination of vague and creepy. The two fast movements are the kind of Shostakovichian grotesque dances that turn up in many of his works. And the third movement exploits the passacaglia form to its fullest, with a beauty unusual for Shostakovitch. There is nothing not to love in this, and it deserves to be up with the Beethoven and Brahms as a true masterwork.

A monumental work...and that pasacaglia is so moving...

10 Wieniawski - Violin Concerto No. 2.

Clearly the best violin concerto ever written

This is great one

Very beautiful an lyrical concerto

Wieniawski is a great Polish violinist and composer.

The Contenders

11 Szymanowski Violin Concerto No.1
12 Niccolò Paganini - Violin Concerto No. 1 In D Major, Op. 6

This should be amongst the first five. High level skills are needed and also the orchestra is OK

Pure bel canto, fresh, joy, Italy... Beyond virtuosity, this is a masterpiece of a master musician

Flood of emotion through the high pitched notes.

The best ever in my opinion

13 Mozart - Violin Concerto No.3 in G Major

Rich melody in all movements.

What could be nicer than this music?

14 Carl Nielsen - Violin Concerto

Great virtuosity required for this melodic yet dramatic piece.

15 Antonin Dvorak - Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53

This certainly should be in the top ten. It is a lovely and beautiful violin concerto. I played in the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra (Violin) and heard and watched Nathan Milstein perform it in Phoenix a long time ago. He was a great violinist and he played much in the style as does Bell today.

This is a very underrated piece. It has great solo and orchestral parts, loads of emotion, and a good balance between virtuosity and melody.

Thumbs up!

16 Mozart - Violin Concerto No.5 in A Major

Wonderful detour into "Turkish" mode. Mozart played with all kinds of expression and here he does another perfect job.

One of my favourite concertos

"let us see"...said the blind man!

17 Elgar - Violin Concerto in B Minor

Delightfully eccentric composition with more post romantic flourishes than you would have thought possible.

The most underrated violin concerto of all time...

Some gorgeous melodies; full of emotion, I never tire of this work, probably my favouriteam violin concerto.

18 Saint Saëns - Violin Concerto no. 3 in A Minor

Wonderful melodies, a mixture of vigour and romantic tenderness

Saint-Saens is the most remarkable example of the successful encounter of classicism and romanticism.

All of his violin concertos are wonderful pieces and underrated as well. This one, his most famous, should be in the top ten, with nos. 1 and 2 in the next ten.

Absolutely underrated and deserves greater audience. The melodies are superb!

19 Bartok Violin Concerto No.2

Parts of this concerto are really pretty

20 Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major

Amazingly orchestrated.


21 Khachaturian Violin Concerto

It's so beautiful and so tricky. All three movements are fantastic

It's just a shame. so much passion and armenian scales also included. I think it lies in the bottom cause it's not being played that often...

22 Schumann - Violin Concerto in D Minor
23 Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole
24 Barber - Violin Concerto

How in the WORLD is the Barber Violin Concerto this low? It is TOP TEN, and has achieved much more fame and notoriety than many above it. Please put it where it deserves.

YES! Just learned this, and I LOVE Movement I!

25 Prokofiev 2nd concerto in G minor
26 Erich Wolfgang Korngold Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35

I'm not sure why this concerto is at the very bottom. It is a staple of violin repertoire, and is just as good as some of the frontrunners (Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms...)

It's a very film-y concerto, which is not surprising from a film composer. However the Korngold Violin Concerto is a classic

27 Vivaldi - L'estro Armonica op.3 no.6

Rich melody... - Ananya

28 Britten Violin Concerto Op.15

My favourite violin concerto along with brush and mendhelsson, I'm really astonished to see it so far from the top...

29 Giovanni Battista Viotti - Violin Concerto No.22 in A-, G97
30 Max Bruch - Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46

Very beautiful music.

31 Henri Vieuxtemps - No. 5

One of few the best in the world

32 Bach - Violin Concerto in E-Major
33 Berg Violin Concerto

Why so low?

34 Giovanni Battista Viotti - Concerto for Violin & Orchestra No.24 In B-, G105
35 Karl Goldmark Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 28

Seems almost unknown apart from Joshual Bell bringing it to life. Tears and guts all in one.

36 Ligeti Violin Concerto
37 Stravinsky - Violin Concerto in D

Subjectively speaking: the best.

38 Myaskovsky - Violin Concerto in Dm

Among the best - SirSalvador

39 Rozsa Violin Concerto
40 Weinberg, M Violin Concerto
41 Chopin - Nocturne In C-sharp Minor, Op. Posth

This rules them all!

Is this a violin concerto? Are you sure?

42 Schoenberg - Violin Concerto
43 Mozart - Violin Concerto No 1
44 Pachelbel - Canon In D
45 Hindemith Violin Concerto
46 Malipiero Violin Concerto No.1
47 Schuman, William Violin Concerto
48 Berwald Violin Concerto
49 Martinu, B. Violin Concerto No.1
50 Rubbra Violin Concerto
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