Top 10 Best Violinists of All Time

The violin is an instrument that has woven its way through centuries of music, leaving behind a legacy of virtuosity and emotional depth. But who are the musicians responsible for these soaring melodies and poignant harmonies? Which violinists have truly left their stamp on the world through their artistry?

The question of the best is always a tricky one, especially in the realm of music where tastes and opinions are as diverse as the notes on a scale. Yet, there are some violinists whose talent and influence are undeniable. They are the ones whose names are synonymous with the instrument itself, the ones who have pushed the boundaries of what's possible with a bow and four strings.
The Top Ten
1 Shadmehr Aghili Shadmehr Aghili an Iranian singer composer, arranger, musician, songwriter and actress . He was born in 1973 in Tehran . He started his career with the release of several albums in Iran . His second album, his music became famous mosafer ... read more

He is a gifted violinist. He is also an excellent piano player and guitar player. However, it's his talent in playing the violin that makes him extremely unique among other artists.

Shadmehr's teaching allowed me to get into music and learn violin-making. Now a songwriter, he has captivated some of the most unique people on Earth.

When he was out of the country, we realized how amazing he truly is. Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest music teachers in the world.

He is the best. My soul goes to paradise when I listen to his performance.

His voice is a miracle too.

God save this talented boy from Persia.

2 Mairead 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's meet-and-greets are always awesome.

1. 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?

3 Lucia Micarelli

She can absolutely rock your socks off! She is a delight to watch in person. So much energy! She is best known for her collaborations with Josh Groban and the classic rock band Jethro Tull. She was the concertmaster with TSO on their Christmas Season Tour in 2003.

She's the best! I went to her concert once, and it was full of energy. She's such a great violinist. I like her a lot, and her Sibelius concerto in D minor is amazing!

This girl rocks! She is such a fantastic "Masterclass" violinist. I love to watch her play. She has such passion for one so young. Way to go, Lucia!

4 Itzhak Perlman

I mean, what the hell, man? Milicevic! Micarelli! Aghili! Has anyone gone to classical concerts? Listen to this great master playing the Bach Partitas or the Brahms Concerto or Tartini's Devil's Trill. Nobody is better.

And this conclusion was reached after I listened to over 100 recordings of each. Perlman is simply the greatest violinist alive and one of the greatest ever. This list should be: Paganini, Sarasate, Heifetz, Perlman, Oistrakh, Menuhin, Kreisler, Elman, Vivaldi, Tartini.

I am not sure how you can vote for some contemporary violinists like Lucia or Sarah Chang over some of the masters. Itzhak Perlman has way more experience than new violinists. In current times, he is for sure the greatest violinist of our time.

He has won 15 Grammy Awards and has been awarded the National Medal of the Arts and the Medal of Liberty.

5 Niccolò Paganini

Paganini is the greatest violinist of all time, still undefeated. The proof is very simple: very few violinists can play his entire repertoire due to the very high degree of difficulty. Paganini used to compose on the fly, being some sort of a blues player. The generalized commentary was always, Paganini non si ripete! His cadenzas were always different.

Besides, he is the father of all new techniques. Never mind the names of modern violinists. They haven't come up with new ways of playing the violin. Let us be respectful and honor only those who deserve it. Now, the best of the modern violinists playing Paganini is, beyond any doubt, Salvatore Accardo.

6 Tomo Milicevic Tomislav "Tomo" Miličević is an American musician and record producer. He was the lead guitarist of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars from 2003 to 2018.
7 David Oistrakh

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

Young people, please find and listen to his old recordings. He had flawless technique, a beautiful tone, and interpretive genius. He was better than Heifetz, yes, even the great Heifetz. No one alive today even comes close.

He is the only worthy violinist on this list from recent times. Who knows how Paganini played. Oistrakh is the king and always will be. He has an incredible sound and incredible artistry.

8 David Garrett David Christian Bongartz, better known by his stage name David Garrett, is a record-breaking German pop and crossover violinist and recording artist.

David had to face challenges greater than those faced by Paganini, when artists were paid to entertain, or Heifetz, when classical music already had a strong community. David's ability to unearth the classical core of modern music and make rock music sound classical goes beyond natural talent.

The competition he faces now is unlike what artists faced in the past when they were part of an exclusive club for music lovers. This point of view should also be considered.

In my opinion, David is the best of the young violinists out there right now. He plays with such a passion for the music and works hard to get the music just the way he wants it.

For a contemporary violinist, he has the chops. He's first and foremost a classical artist. The rock stuff he does is just for fun.

He has learned from the best, including Itzhak Perlman and the incomparable Ida Haendel, and he has not turned his back on his classical roots. He's simply amazing.

9 Jascha Heifetz

I am a singer. I used to think the violin was alright, but few violinists ever made me want to listen for longer than a minute. Recently, our public television station ran a documentary on the life of Jascha Heifetz. He dedicated his life to the violin, and he was referred to as "God's violinist."

All his life, relationship skills, and other talents we aim to develop were focused solely on the violin and music. Like any genius who is so talented and focused, other aspects of his life suffered. However, no one I have ever heard can play the violin like Jascha Heifetz.

His music is pure, passionate, and filled with various other emotions. If you are open and truly listening, it's heavenly. There is no one to whom he can be compared.

10 Bijan Mortazavi

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

Bijan Mortazavi and Shadmehr Aghili are the best of all time! All of you know this too, so please vote for them! I love them and recommend that you love them too. By Emran Zabihi from Iran.

The best Iranian violinist is Bijan Mortazavi. He is better than Shadmehr Aghili. All Iranians know this. Viva Iranian players, especially Bijan, who is an instructor-level violin player.

The Contenders
11 Sarah Chang

She is so natural and human. She doesn't pretend to be something superior but just expresses her own emotions. That is what modern listeners like.

As far as I'm concerned, she is the best violinist in the world. Her style of playing and her way of arranging notes are brilliant.

Just listen to them. I think Sarah is amazing. However, there are different kinds of music. Listen to them with an open mind.

12 Samvel Yervinyan

Samvel belongs in the number 1 spot, hands down. He can outplay people with his eyes closed. He plays fast, slow, and in between, and the man is a total genius and perfectionist, to say the least.

The emotion he showed in Yanni's "To the Last Moment" cannot be topped. His violin was practically singing!

He plays extremely well and has a special, unrivaled style, with very agile hands as well!

13 Yehudi Menuhin Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin KBE was an American-born violinist and conductor, who spent most of his performing career in Britain.

Menuhin's playing comes from another world. Almost every serious musician I know can hear the spiritual content of his playing.

Ida Haendel said, "There's only one word for Yehudi - Magic!" Ivry Gitlis said, "Well, of course, Heifetz was a kind of god, but with Yehudi, it was different. It's as if one of the angels of heaven came down and walked among us."

The absolute master violinist. Some of his recordings are classics and are 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 on this list compares.

14 Anne 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.

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 inimitable. Try listening to Carmen-Fantasie. She is the best there is today.

15 Fritz Kreisler

I have heard quite a few live performances, and I would say Kreisler is, 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, sustaining saber slashes and hoof strikes, when a Cossack and his horse charged at him.

The last thing he remembered was the Cossack toppling as a result 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 recording technology of his day did not measure up to the range and purity of today's recordings.

16 Joshua Bell

He was a child prodigy, and throughout his life, he has maintained the highest standards, doing amazing and creative things with his violin. From giving a "concert" in a metro station to observe people's reactions, to becoming the director of one of England's major orchestras, his contributions are significant.

His passion for music and his extraordinary interpretation of every classic piece he performs are of the highest caliber. In my estimation, he is one of perhaps the top three violinists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

I think Joshua Bell should be in the top 10. It doesn't make much sense that a lot of these other violinists are ranked ahead of him. He is way better than Lindsey Stirling. Also, he's the most expensive musician in the world, so it doesn't make much sense why he's number 19.

So, you guys need to stop being uninformed and move Joshua Bell up to the top 10.

17 Homayoun Khorram
18 Meysam Marvasti
19 Salvatore Accardo

A good Italian violinist, a professional violinist, whom I willingly follow. It's a pity that in Italy classical music is not followed as it deserves, but we are getting there. Thanks.

20 Isaac Stern

I think Isaac Stern was the only one whose technical ability for speed and clear notes is so underrated. A master on the Mendelssohn, every note is crystal clear, and the speed is totally awesome.

His passion for the Tchaikovsky makes me well up every time I hear it. Please include him at the top of the list.

I could listen to Isaac Stern all day and never regret it. While others may feel otherwise, I personally believe he should have been rated as one of the world's greatest. May he rest in peace and fill heaven with his unique and blessed skill.

21 Gil Shaham

I am surprised Gil Shaham was not mentioned earlier in this list. My wife and 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.

22 Kasra Khadivar

So talented and emotional! Just watch the "Farzad Farzin Mask" video on the internet.

23 Maxim Vengerov

The emotion with which he plays music is just amazing. Nobody can compare to the emotion and quality of sound that Maxim Vengerov produces. He's simply amazing.

If you don't know Maxim Vengerov, then you don't have an idea about the violin. He is the most well-known living violinist, a true master of the instrument.

This guy should be in the top 5 of all time, alongside Heifetz. Joshua Bell should be ranked below Vengerov. Joshua primarily plays popular tunes. Bell must be getting votes from hormonal young girls.

24 Kyung-wha Chung

Her performance of Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2, acknowledged as one of the most difficult pieces for a soloist, is simply wonderful. Her technique, I believe, is without peer, and the emotion she infuses into the instrument's tone is captivating.

She is certainly among the top violinists today. The idea of rating these artists is really quite pointless. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of players with not only great musical talent but also mastery of technique.

25 Nathan Milstein
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