V.com weekend vote: Which violinist would you choose for your quartet in heaven?

December 9, 2012, 4:15 PM · You arrive in heaven and (perhaps miraculously,) you are welcomed through the pearly gates. Because it is heaven, there is chamber music, and you also find your musical abilities to be greatly enhanced. You are given the chance to select another violinist to play in your heavenly string quartet. Of these famous late violinists, whom would you choose?

In case you need to read up on these guys:

Jascha Heifetz
Josef Gingold
Isaac Stern
Joseph Joachim
Oscar Shumsky

Also, feel free to name someone else in the comments below:


December 9, 2012 at 10:39 PM · Boris Goldstein :)

December 9, 2012 at 10:47 PM · I just think that Josef Gingold would probably be the most fun to hang out with. :)

But if I had my pick of anyone, I'd say Sandor Vegh.

December 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM · I chose Gingold and was really surprised to see that he's currently the top choice. All I really know about him is what Steinhart wrote in "Violin Dreams" but like Terry says, he sounds like a fun person to hang out with. Also, I think I'd learn a lot from him.

December 9, 2012 at 10:48 PM · Where is David Oistrakh in this heaven? :) Gone for a walk?

Would be my choice!

December 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM · Mischa Elman.

December 9, 2012 at 11:11 PM · Nathan Milstein... but I would let Oistrakh play first. I chose Gingold..

December 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM · David Oistrakh!

December 9, 2012 at 11:30 PM · Gingold! And I'd ask if he could pull in his buddy Primrose to play some viola quintets!

December 9, 2012 at 11:47 PM · Oistrakh is an interesting choice too. You can't play music all the time in heaven and at least Oistrakh plays a little chess. :)

But I have a feeling that the ultimate fun guy to hang out with would be Fritz Kreisler.

But I'm also with Francesca that the one I feel like I could learn the most with would be Gingold...not that any of these guys are slouches!

December 10, 2012 at 01:24 AM · How could David Oistrakh have been left off the list??!!!

December 10, 2012 at 01:59 AM · Terry, you're right... They aren't slaves of tyranic playing scedules anymore in heaven!

I like your idea of David Oistrakh playing Chess while Laurie made her list ;) Logical...

December 10, 2012 at 02:38 AM · I had five slots! Well, I was bound to forget someone. Who else have I forgotten? :)

December 10, 2012 at 05:54 AM · Oistrakh and Einstein :)

December 10, 2012 at 07:19 AM · Julian Brodetsky.

December 10, 2012 at 07:54 AM · Omg.....If we could have Kreisler + Elman, that would be dreamy. Just think about their sweet tender sound :) Actually, I heard Kreisler had a very large sound, larger than any other violinist. So hard to take my picks if I had to take tone quality and techniques into consideration :( *brain blows up*

December 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Jascha Heifetz of course! Today 25 years ago, the day he took his last breath.

R. I. P.

December 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Shumsky on 1st.

Oistrakh can play vla.

December 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Can you imagine what it might be like to play quartets with Sarasate and Paganini? Although I like the Kreisler / Elman pairing too Steven!

December 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Paganini is disqualified. :) Heaven's quartet has no place for him - he might still want all the glory (of God, music & heaven) for his solo self.

I love your point about Oistrakh playing a bit of chess. Boy, he can play the viola, too. What a partner!

December 10, 2012 at 01:19 PM · I am not worthy to play with any of those guys but if Mr. Gingold would permit me to join his quartet I'd be truly honored. He was my teacher's stand partner so I've heard a lot about him.

December 10, 2012 at 04:38 PM · Might need to go down to Hades for a brief visit to meet up with Paganini then. :)

I further petition, for all that is holy (smirk) that people start putting up a few more votes for Gingold!

I've always preferred Heifetz's solo work to his chamber music recordings. But I suppose if Heifetz asked me, I'd play with him. ;)

I remember Sandor Vegh saying in master classes that Ginette Neveu had one of the most beautiful sounds he'd ever heard. So I also want a turn playing some Brahms with Vegh and Ginette Neveu.

December 10, 2012 at 08:21 PM · I'd be really upset if there was a heaven at all, but extremely upset if once there everybody had musical talent. All this work I'm doing now would be in vain, and I would not be nearly as satisfied with playing if I hadn't had to put in the work. If I got to heaven and was instantly good enough to play with any of these guys I'd never play again. That said my choice would be Menuhin, I think I would get along really well with him.

December 10, 2012 at 09:26 PM · Adrian... I wish that if there is a 0,000000000000000000000001% chance that heaven exists, instant talent would be for anyone who knows violin and really loves it... the many people who couldn't care less about playing violin music on earh would choose other activities imho :) So you would still be special and the respect we all have for the greats would stay!

Very hypothetical and weird talk we have on this thread, no? But it's both fun and funny...

December 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM · So Nate, who would you wish to play with, Heifetz I assume? Terry

December 11, 2012 at 03:26 AM · My quartet would be Kreisler, Ysaye Thibaud and Casals with Kresler and Ysaye taking turns on viola. I understand that they played together.

December 11, 2012 at 03:26 AM · My quartet would be Kreisler, Ysaye Thibaud and Casals with Kresler and Ysaye taking turns on viola. I understand that they played together.

December 11, 2012 at 07:37 AM · I think the best solution is have a gathering of great violinists in Heaven so we don't miss anyone :) and too bad Paganini ain't up there.....Although I don't think he was really what people said he was

December 11, 2012 at 09:39 AM · David Oistrakh!

December 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM · James Ehnes.

ps. In my heaven you don't have to be dead ;)

December 11, 2012 at 01:48 PM · I don't think, I'd turn that down Terry!

December 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM · Marie Hall. Maud Powell. Rebecca Clarke. Beatrice Harrison. :)

December 11, 2012 at 06:01 PM · Like many others, I chose Josef Gingold while thinking, "What about David Oistrakh?" I think I'd be too intimidated by Heifetz, but I'd love it if Nathan Milstein could join us. No doubt, though, he's busy playing some perfectly heavenly music somewhere else...

December 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM · Emily, an amazing all woman quartet!

December 12, 2012 at 03:17 AM · I would like so much Jacqueline Du PrĂ© as the cellist... if we could chose all 4 members...

December 12, 2012 at 03:48 PM · they all look like soloists rather than chamber music players, how about adolf busch? the links are to wiki - uck...

December 14, 2012 at 06:14 AM · If it's not too late, I'd like to hear from people who voted for Joachim. Of course I admire him greatly, but I would be intimidated by him.

December 14, 2012 at 10:55 AM · There was one; the quartet of the London Beethoven Society; Joachim, Ernst, Wieniawsky and Piatti.

December 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM · Ah, but they all were chamber players as well!

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker

Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal
Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings



Violin Lab



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine