V.com weekend vote: Is your favorite musician a violinist?

May 19, 2012, 9:53 PM · The death this week of the great singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau brought so many of his wonderful performances to my attention -- how inspiring! My thoughts turned to the importance of listening to musicians who are not necessarily violinists. Who do we emulate? Who do we admire?

You probably have more than a few "favorites," but who comes to mind first? Is your favorite musician a violinist? I'd love for us to share our favorites, whether they are violinists or not. Please vote, and share your thoughts:


May 20, 2012 at 03:24 AM · As a musician, I feel as though I shouldn't really have a favorite musician. I'm certain that part of a musician's job is to appreciate every type of genre in addition to what they usually play. It should be impossible for a musician to favor any one musician/musical group. I listen to and sometimes perform in very diverse types of music, and because of this, I find it extremely difficult to just say "so and so is my favorite singer" or "blah blah is my favorite band/musician/violinist". I feel too well rounded or extremely open minded to pinpoint just one favorite; to me, they're all so different from each other, and it seems almost cruel and narrow-minded to favor only one musician. There should be many musicians that come to mind first, so many, that one's mind should explode!

May 20, 2012 at 05:22 AM · David Oistrakh - just watching, listening & analyzing his technique (on video clips) has been as if I've 'studied' by him for years: Super Star.

May 20, 2012 at 05:01 PM · I feel that as musicians, we should appreciate all forms and genre of art. There are many amazing artists. Heifetz, Oistrakh,Menuhin, Kreisler,Pavarotti, to Bruno Mars, or Michael buble. To be honest, they are all my favourites as long as they do what they do best. I also believe one stops growing when he/she narrows his/her scope to one specific genre. It just seems too narrow minded to me. Just like how Heifetz liked to listen to the ocean for different sounds. They weren't all pleasant but they are all unique sounds. At last, it is hard for me to pinpoint one favourite musician because there are so many extraordinary individuals out there.

May 20, 2012 at 05:45 PM · I've never been able to narrow it down to one.

May 20, 2012 at 07:57 PM · Ditto Marjory - I voted other because the option was written in the singular.

Maybe I shoulda been a lawyer :-\

May 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM · My favorite musician is Brad Mehldau. My favorite violinist is Anne-Sophie Mutter.

May 21, 2012 at 04:16 AM · it used to be pure violinists but the more you play yourself the more you realize that aqll musicians put in so much time to perfect themselves and the purest sound I heard was a violist by the name of Matthew Jones, his playing gave me goosebumps. I never thought I would love a viola, till you hear one who stands out.Of course I have a few favourites amongst the violinists. Like Joshua Bell and Anna Fortunella.

May 21, 2012 at 06:12 AM · I appreciate Nathan Milstein not only for his performances but for his throughout good thoughts on music, art and culture. There are few musicians, also not violinists, who have the courage to say it all out loud. He did! Oistrakh is of course a great performer, but to personal reasons he stayed a slave of the russian regime. I don't blame him for that, how could I. Maybe he feared about his family. I also think, that he had a great Character to decide to only speak through his art, similar to Shostakovich at that time. That gave us incredible intensed and emotion loaded, speaking performances.

My second most beloved performers are Rock singers from the grounge age. Kurt Cobain to me was not only a great musician, but an not compromising artist. The Singer of Alice in Chains, Layne Staley created some of the most poetic music and lyrics, also his voice is something I always remember. In his best days, before drugs teared him down he was an incredible singer and also an intelligent person.

May 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Perhaps a bit off the usual but Brahms happens to be my favorite musician, in that the literature he penned has provided vicarious, personal, and at-large pleasure to me as a listener, player, teacher, and I hold his work as the most satisfying emotionally, intellectually and also in the undefinable area of musicality.

May 21, 2012 at 01:52 PM · My musical preferences are all over the map -- sometimes they can change almost from minute to minute, depending on which genre "grabs" me at any given time. I have favorites for Classical, Celtic, Country, Rock, etc. I really can't narrow it down to just one.

May 21, 2012 at 04:00 PM · I really like both Rubinstein and Horowitz

May 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM · You put me on the spot. Now I can't seem to decide! It makes me smile. For longest time before I returned to the violin, my favorite musician was Phil Collins. He could really generate a mood with his use of percussion. I also really admire Yo Yo Ma. He cannot be defined by a genre. He moves seamlessly between styles. That is ultimately how I desire to be. To be able to flow into each musical landscape.

May 21, 2012 at 09:58 PM · My favorite musician is Neil E. Peart a percusionist and former student of the reknown Freddie Grubber. Neil is rated among peers and the percussion wolrd as the premier living percusionist/drummer. He is also a criticaly aclaimed author as well. He is honorary family with the Rich Family (Buddy Rich), drummer & chief lyricist of the rock band Rush, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada the 1st rock star (along with his other two band mates) I believe. Forgive me if I am wrong.. :)


May 22, 2012 at 04:02 AM · My favorite musician is Itzhak Perlman but I actually own some albums of Cecilia Bartoli. I haven't listened to them since studying the violin so I don't have a feel for how her singing compares to a member of the violin family.

May 22, 2012 at 04:11 AM · I'm already on record for several favorites, and there are more, but one is above all: Nathan Milstein, frequently cited by his contemporaries and peers as their favorite, "the violinists' violinist". I believe he was a primary model for Galamian, and Kreisler favored Milstein as his successor.

May 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Julian Bream, not sure if classical guitarists are counted as string players in this context, I can nearly always tell if it is him playing but usually cannot tell the difference between various violin vituosos playing the standard display pieces.

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 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

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon 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